Assessment on the microbial safety status of fish products at fish retail areas in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fikadu Hailemichael and Bezuayehu Gutema
Fish is rich in quality protein with high bioavailability of essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and minerals. However, improper fish handling can result in contamination and potentially making it harmful for consumption. This study planned to assess the microbial safety status of fish sold at fish shops and supermarkets in Addis Ababa. A total of 56 samples (38 from fish shops and 18 from supermarkets) were collected. Determination of total viable count and coliforms count was performed by the standard plate count method. Characterization of the bacterial isolates was also done using biochemical techniques. The mean total viable count ranged from 5.77 ± 0.26 log CFU/g recorded from supermarket samples to 9.08 ± 0.043 log CFU/g from shop samples. Staphylococcus spp., Enterobacter spp., Proteus spp. and Bacillus spp. were identified from the specimen. The highest and least value of TVB-N were 76.00 ± 1.38 and 44.37± 1.35 mg/100g, respectively whereas, the highest and least value of pH were recorded approximately 7.24 ± 0.00 and 6.58 ± 0.02, respectively. Despite the absence of potential fish pathogens, this finding revealed the inadequacy of existing hygienic practices. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to cook fish products purchased from Addis Ababa fish markets sufficiently before consumption.