Some Street Vended Food from Addis Ababa: Microbiological and Socio-Economical Descriptions

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Deriba Muleta
Mogessie Ashenafi


Background: Street foods are ready to eat foods and beverages and /or sold by vendors especially in streets and other public places. Foods exposed for sale on road sides-may become contaminated either by spoilage or pathogenic organisms. This study was designed to generate data on the microbial load and safety of street food

Methods: A total of 150 samples of street food comprising of 30 each of "sambussa", • "macaroni", "lentil sandwich", "kitfo" (raw minced meat) and "egg sandwich", were collected from different sites of Addis Ababa. Close observation was also made on set-up and activities of street vending operations. Samples were microbiologically analyzed for load of the various microbial groups.

Results: About 80% of the vendors were females and the age of the vendors ranged from 9-45 years (mean= 28.48 112.49). Most vendors sold over 20 pieces of a particular food item a day. All street-vended food items were sold under unhygienic conditions in' areas of high population movement The microbial load of "sambussa" was relatively lower than that of the other items (<106 cfu/g). In the other food items, the count of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, bacterial.spores, coliforms, members of Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci and yeasts were markedly high.

Conclusion: Under normal circumstances, cooked food should not contain vegetative forms of microorganisms, particularly Gram-negative rods which will not withstand cooking temperature. Their presence clearly indicates post cooking contamination. It would, therefore, be important to make a more detailed microbiological examination of unclean cloths, used to wipe serving plates, cleaning water for washing plates the vending environment and the vendors themselves to determine the health significance of street-vended foods

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Author Biographies

Deriba Muleta, Addis Ababa University. P.O. Box 1176. Addis Ababa. Ethiopia Corresponding

Department of Biology. Faculty of Science.

Addis Ababa University. P.O. Box 1176. Addis Ababa 'Institute of Pathology


Mogessie Ashenafi, P.O. Box 1176. Addis Ababa. Ethiopia


Institute of Phatology Addis Ababa University.