IDENTIFICATION OF BACTERIAL FOUND IN COOKED PEPPER SOUP SOLD IN MUEA MARKET
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Pepper soup are essential components of the human diet and there is considerable evidence of the health and nutritional benefits associated with the consumption of pepper soup. However, during processing contamination from raw materials, equipment or food handlers could be easily transferred to the final product of pepper soup resulting to foodborne illness. Most of the pepper soup sellers in Muea prepare cow meat, fish, goat meat, and canda pepper soup. Common bacterial illnesses associated with contaminated pepper soup are staphylococcal food poisoning, Salmonellosis, shigellosis and diarrhea associated with Entero-toxogenic E. coli. The aim of the study was to assess the microbial quality of the locally prepared pepper soup and the hygienic condition of preparation sites. Sufficient amounts of the specimen of cow meat, goat meat, fish, and canda pepper soup were collected in aseptic manner and kept in sample plates and transported to the University of Buea school lab. A cross sectional study was conducted. Colony count was carried out by growing the various bacterium from the pepper soup on nutrient agar and the method used were, gram staining to confirm the different bacteria from their colors. Samples were made and numbered from sample 1-4. Sample 2 exhibited growth on manitol salt agar. Catalase test was carried out to differentiate catalase positive Staphylococci from catalase negative streptococci. It was positive for all the samples. To determine E. coli, the samples were cultured on EMB agar, there was no growth. For fungi, yeast was cultured on PDA and antibiotics were added, there was growth in all the plates and gram stain was conducted to confirm the presence of yeast. For moulds, in the presence of antibiotic in the PDA, there was no growth. According to the current study, the result may be attributed to contamination during either harvesting of spices and meat or processing and handling of cooked pepper soup. Therefore, regular supervision and training about harvesting of spices and meat save processing and handling of pepper soup and hygiene of sellers can improve the quality of cooked pepper soup