Vol. 5, Issue 2

A microbial study on water used by street food vendors and microbial flora found on their hands, in a densely populated urban area of Vadodara, Gujarat

Vedant V Shrimali1, Krunal Kiritbhai Shah*2

13rd year MBBS student, SBKS Medical Institute & Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Piparia, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

2Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Parul Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Parul University, Limda, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Introduction: Street vended food is not only appreciated for their unique flavours, convenience and the role which they play in the cultural and social heritage of societies, it also becomes important and essential for maintaining nutritional status of populations.

Method: Vendors were chosen randomly for obtaining various samples. Samples were taken after informed consent. Sterile swabs were used to collect sample from the palms, fingers and area between fingers from both the hands of the individuals preparing or contacting the food. Water samples were collected in sterile containers using aseptic precautions. Samples were inoculated on suitable culture media and subjected for identification after obtaining growth.

Result: Total of 14 water samples and 28 swabs were collected from 14 different street vendors. Average of 1100 cfu/ml of water sample was isolated. Organisms isolated from water samples were Pseudomonas spp. E coli and Klebsiella. From the swabs taken from both the hands, major organism isolated was Coagulase negative staphylococci followed by Staphylococcus aureus and E coli.

Conclusion: Quality of food offered by street vendors directly affects the health of a person and population in general. Our study shows poor quality of hand hygiene maintained by street vendors as well as poor quality of water used for preparation of food, which may affect quality of food provided.

Keywords: food quality, hand hygiene