The safety of foods is affected by several factors, from the quality of the raw materials to food handling and hygiene practices. This study aimed at evaluating the consequences of different hygiene practices on the microbiological quality of street vended Ready-To-Eat (RTE) meat. A total of 115 meat samples were purchased from vendors at three different areas; MTN-taxi rank, Bree Street and Hancock Street around Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) where a a pre-structured check list was used for observational study of the hygiene practices of meat vendors. Isolates were identified using standard biochemical and Molecular methods. The study revealed that 90.63, 77.42, and 68.89% of vendors respectively exposed their meats to dusts and flies, 94.4, 92.31 and 87.5% of vendors handled money while serving foods at the different locations respectively. Stagnant water was found at 21.88% and 55.56% of vending locations at MTN taxi-rank and Hancock Street but were absent in vending sites at Bree Street. The overall mean total bacterial and coliform counts in the samples ranged from 4.3-6.03 × 102 and 1.60-1.95 × 102 cfu/ml respectively. Fifteen different bacterial species were detected in the meat samples with Staphylococcus aureus occurring in all the meat types except for the chicken gizzards. The percentage occurrence was 14, 43, 50 and 20 for chicken meat, beef head, beef intestines and wors respectively. The study showed the Poor hygiene practices of the vendors of the RTE meat thus consumers are at risk of food borne diseases. Proper enforcement of health regulations should be enacted in the country.
Published Date: 2018-05-29; Received Date: 2018-05-02