Four (4) samples of raw meat were collected from two abattoirs namely: Kwata Abattoir at Awka and Amansea Abattoir all in Awka South, Anambra State Nigeria. The isolation and characterization of bacteria and fungi in the raw meat were studied. A total of eighth (8) bacterial isolates from beef and intestine samples were obtained and characterized as Escherichia Coli, Streptococcus Spp, Salmonella Typhi and Pseudomonas aeruginosa showing on Table 3 and three (3) fungi isolates were obtained which are Aspergillus, Mucor and Chrysonilia sitophila.Infected meat, however, should be eliminated through systematic meat inspection in production, and consequently, consumers will more often encounter meat exogenously spoiled by bacteria or fungi after the death of the animal.

















TABLE                                               TITTLE                                                                       PAGE

1:         Bacterial Counts in nutrient agar of the raw meat sample (×10-3cfu/ml)                    35

2:         Fungal Counts in Sabaround Dextrous Agar of the raw meat samples (×10-3cfu/ml) 35

3:         Morphology and Biochemical Characteristic                                                              36

4:           Morphology and microscopic view of fungi isolates                                                37

5:         Frequency and percentage of occurrence of the bacteria isolates                                 37

6:         Frequency and percentage of occurrence of fungi isolates                                           37

7:         Antibiotic susceptibility testing of the isolates


Food safety remains a critical issue with outbreaks of foodborne illness resulting in substantial costs to individuals, the food industry and the economy (Kaferstein et al., 1997). Despite advances in food science and technology, foodborne diseases remain one of the major public health and economic problems all over the world (WHO, 1995 and Legnani et al., 2004). The risk of foodborne illness has increased markedly over the last 20 years, with nearly a quarter of the population at higher risk for illness (CDC, 2003; 2004). For instance in the United States, 76 million people get sick, 325,000 hospitalizations, 5,000 Americans die each year from foodborne illness and 2,366,000 cases, 21,138 hospitalizations and 718 deaths in England and Wales (Mead et al.,1999 and Adak et al., 2002). There are about 5.4 million cases of foodborne disease in Australia each year (OzFoodNet, 2006). Hence, trends in foodborne illness in the developed countries indicate that the incidence of foodborne illness is increasing, and that it is likely to remain a threat to public health well into this century (Crerar et al., 1996).


There are many and varied sources of organisms causing food poisoning. Most cases of food poisoning are caused by bacteria which arise from animal, human or environmental sources (Gracey et al., 1999). Contaminated raw meat is one of the main sources of foodborne illnesses (Bhandare et al., 2007). Specific sources that contribute microbial contamination to animal carcasses and to fresh meat during slaughter and dressing include the faeces, the hide, water, air, intestinal contents, lymph nodes, processing equipment, and humans (Sofos, 2005), and can be transferred to the carcass during skin removal and evisceration (Hansson et al., 2000; Reid et al., 2002). The types of microorganisms and extent of contamination present on the final product are influenced by sanitation procedures, hygienic practices, application of food safety interventions, type and extent of product handling and processing, and the conditions of storage and distribution (Sofos, 2005).


There are four major pathogens that have frequently been associated with meat and meat products including Salmonella species, Campylobacter species, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. These organisms have been linked to a number of cases of human illness (Mershal et al., 2010).

Salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of foodborne illness (Birhaneselassie and Williams, 2013). Foodborne salmonellosis often follows consumption of contaminated animal products, which usually results from infected animals used in food production or from contamination of the carcasses or edible organs (Alemayehu et al., 2002). Salmonella infection in meat animals arises from intensive rearing practices and the use of contaminated feeds (Ejeta et al., 2004). Cross-contamination of carcasses with Salmonella can also occur during slaughtering operations (Baird-Parker, 1990). Stress associated with transport of animals to abattoir augments shedding of Salmonella by carrier animals and this may contribute to the spread of the organism to other animals in the slaughter plant (Isaacson et al., 1999).


Slaughtering procedures potentially involve many risks of both direct and cross contamination of carcasses and meat surfaces. During slaughter, faecal contamination of edible organs with subsequent contamination of the carcass may occur. This can be carried through all slaughter procedures up to the processing of the raw products, which are important sources of Salmonella in the human food chain (Edwards et al., 1997). Contamination of equipment, utensils and hands of workers can spread Salmonella to uncontaminated carcasses and parts, which can occur in subsequent handling, processing, transport, storage, distribution and preparation for consumption (Ejeta et al., 2004).


Salmonellosis causes significant morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals and has a substantial global socioeconomic impact (Tassios et al., 1997). There are 16 million annual cases of typhoid fever, 1.3 billion cases of gastroenteritis and 3 million deaths worldwide due to Salmonella (Bhunia, 2008). Mortality due to Salmonella infections is mainly a health problem in developing countries, but morbidity due to acute Salmonella infections also has important socio-economic impact in industrialised nations (Hansen- Wester and Hensel, 2001). Salmonella infections in the United States account for roughly 19,336 hospitalizations, 17,000 quality adjusted life years lost and $3.3 billion in total medical expenditures and lost productivity each year (Batz et al., 2011). For human salmonellosis in the Netherlands, the costs are estimated to be between 32 and 90 million Euro per year (van Pelt and Valkenburgh, 2001).


Salmonella infections are very common and an important public health problem in many parts of the world. Studies in different countries indicated that Salmonellae are wide spread in small ruminants (Nabbut and Al-Nakhli, 1982 and Chandra et al., 2007). Research to date, as well as unpublished reports from different health institutions in Ethiopia have indicated that salmonellosis is a common problem and also showed the presence of a number of serogroups/ serotypes in humans, animals, animal food products and other foods (Nyeleti et al., 2000; Muleta and Ashenafi, 2001; Molla et al., 2003; Tibaijuka et al., 2003; Woldemariam et al., 2005, Asrat, 2008 and Akafete and Haileleul, 2011).


Moreover, an increase in the resistance of Salmonella to commonly used antimicrobials has been also noted in both public health and veterinary sectors in Ethiopia (Molla et al., 1999; Molla et al., 2003 and Asrat, 2008). The extensive use of the first line drugs has led to the development of multiple drug resistance at a level which could pose a serious problem in the near future (Getenet, 2008). Although, little study has so far been undertaken to isolate Salmonella from goat‟s meat in Ethiopia (Molla et al., 1999, Woldemariam et al., 2005; Wassie, 2004 and Akafete and Haileleul, 2011) from central part of the country and export abattoirs, there was no report regarding the status of the Salmonella from Dire Dawa municipal abattoir.


Problem Statement and Justification of the Study

In spite of the increased consumer demand on food safety standards for beef in Nigeria municipality there are still poor hygiene and sanitary practices along the food production chain which contribute to unacceptable level of microbial load in meat. This poses a health risk to consumers. Although several studies have been conducted to assess the degree of meat losses due to contamination of carcasses and offals (Mtenga et al., 2000), detection of zoonotic conditions through post mortem inspection (Komba et al., 2012) and occurrence of Thermophilic Compylobacter spp in cattle slaughtered at Morogoro municipal abattoir (Nonga et al., 2010), limited studies have been conducted to assess microbial contamination of beef along the production chain from the abattoir to retail meat outlets. In order to minimize public health risks, there is a need to assess microbial contamination of beef along the production chain and point out the main contaminated points that would require interventions through a HACCP system and education for different actors on beef enterprise.

Objective of the Study

General objective

The overall objective of the study was to determine the extent of microbial contamination and associated risk factors in beef production chain from abattoir to retail meat outlets in Morogoro municipality.


Specific objectives

  1. i) To identify risk factors contribute to microbial contamination of beef from the abattoir to retail meat outlets.
  2. ii) To establish the main beef microbial contamination points from the abattoir to retail meat outlets.

iii) To determine the extent of microbial contamination of beef along the production chain from the abattoir to retail meat outlets.