Occurrence of Salmonella in Raw Chicken Meat from Retail Equipment and Environments in Southern Nigeria Open Markets
Salmonella species is one of the most significant food-related pathogens of public health concern, whose leading vehicles of transmission to humans are chicken products. Hence, this study investigated the occurrence of Salmonella in chicken meat in correlation to their retailing equipment/environments of open markets located in Warri, Benin City, Akure and Ado-Ekiti metropolis (Southern Nigeria). A total of 680 samples comprising raw chicken carcass (n = 240 muscle tissues), rinsing water (n = 60), hovering houseflies (n = 200) and swabs from retailing table (n = 60), cutting knives (n = 60) and meat storage containers (n = 60) were collected and analysed using standard techniques. Salmonella was recovered in 105 samples, presenting a prevalence rate of 15.4% (105/680). Rinsing water (40.0%) had the highest rate, followed by chicken carcass and retailing table (16.7%), storage containers (18.3%), hovering flies (9.0%), and then cutting knives (3.3%). The prevalence of Salmonella was highest in Benin City samples (24.7%; P<0.05), followed by Warri samples (15.9%), Ado-Ekiti (11.9%) and Akure (9.4%) being the least. The mean Salmonella counts (CFU/mL) per sample revealed that Benin City (0.09 × 102 - 5.49 × 106) yielded the highest Salmonella load, followed by Warri (0.00 - 6.11 × 105), Ado-Ekiti (0.00 - 5.49 × 104) and Akure (0.00 - 3.02 × 104). These findings suggest that the occurrence of Salmonella in commercial chicken meat is still high in most of the study locations and the rinsing water, tables and storage containers could be potential transmission routes. Adequate thermal treatment measures are recommended before consummation of commercial chicken meat within the regions.
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