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Aim: The study was carried out to assess the microbial quality and safety of fermented camel milk product (Suusac) from North Eastern Kenya.
Methodology: Twenty-eight samples (n=28) of Suusac from different areas of the region sold in informal markets at Eastleigh in Nairobi were aseptically collected at the sales points. The quality and safety of the Suusac with reference to selected pathogens namely E. coli, S. aureus, Shigella, and Klebsiella spp was evaluated using the standard analytical methods.
Results: Escherichia coli were detected in all the samples while Staphylococcus aureus was detected in 63.09% of the samples analyzed. Shigella spp was detected in 88.1% of the samples analyzed and Klebsiella spp was detected in 77.4% of the samples. The mean log10 counts for E. coli, S. aureus, Shigella, and Klebsiella spp were 3.135, 2.576, 2.784 and 3.138, CFUmL-1, respectively. There is a potential public health concern posed by Suusac which is sold for direct consumption due to the presence of the life-threatening bacterial pathogens.
Conclusion: The Suusac being sold at Eastleigh market in Nairobi from North Eastern Kenya may be responsible for transmission of the pathogens to the consumers. Training on food hygiene, improving production technology, hygienic conditions and implementing the food legislations along the value chain can minimize the risk.