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Salmonella is among the most important food borne pathogens worldwide contaminating wide range of animal products including meat pie. Hazard analyses of meat pie production line and meat pie produced in retail outlets in Zaria was conducted to determine hazard associated with the production line, raw materials and meat pie produced and also the critical control points. These analyses consisted of watching all the steps involved from raw materials, mixing process to collection of swab samples. A total of 480 samples were collected from meat pie production and were tested for the presence of Salmonella spps and also the level of bacterial contamination were determined. Sample type included raw meat flour, egg,






1.1 Background of the Study


The hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) concept is becoming an increasingly important aspect of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in safe food production. It is a systematic means of controlling any microbiological hazard that may arise in a food processing or handling operations and aims to identify problems before they occur. The first step is to establish the hazardous organisms associated with a particular food product. It is based on a list of all those bacteria that are known to cause food borne disease in man, following an evaluation of raw materials, the production process, possibilities for contamination etc. More evaluation of the hazards will be made during the identification of critical control points (CCPs) and the setting of control criteria at each CCP. For all types of food business, management awareness and commitment is necessary for implementation of an effective HACCP system (Notermans etal 1994).The effectiveness will also rely upon management and employees having the appropriate HACCP knowledge and skills. During hazard identification, evaluation, and subsequent operations in designing and applying HACCP systems, consideration must be given to the impact of raw materials, ingredients, food manufacturing practices, role of manufacturing processes to control hazards and likely end-use of the product.To enable risks involved to be estimated and appropriate measures to be taken, analysis of food production has to be implemented by collection of food samples-specific microbiological monitoring data, in accordance with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles (Zweifel et al, 2005). The microbiological control includes testing of the whole production chain; with samples taken from production and consumption (Hatakka, 2000).


The intent of the HACCP system is to focus control at CCPs. Redesign of the operation should be considered if a hazard which must be controlled is identified but no CCPs are found. Operations shall comply with government regulations that includes adequate HACCP, hazard control and quality assurance for receiving, inspecting, transporting, segregating, preparing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling and storing food. Quality assurance operations shall be employed to ensure that food is suitable for human consumption and that food packaging materials are safe and suitable. The efficacy of any HACCP system will nevertheless rely on management and employees having the appropriate HACCP knowledge and skills, therefore ongoing training is necessary for all levels of employees and managers, as appropriate.



The Codex document on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control points system and guidelines for its application (CAC, 1997a) list the following seven principles of the HACCP system:



Conduct a hazard analysis.



Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs).



Establish critical limit(s).



Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP.



Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.



Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.


Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their applications. Among the many reasons for using HACCP are the following conditions:


  • HACCP is a systematic, disciplined approach to process control that is based upon science


  • HACCP requires record keeping which provides an audible document trail and a historical perspective of control.


  • HACCP avoids the use of statistically unreliable end product testing to assure food safety.


  • Responsibility and accountability are clearly assigned.


  • The HACCP concept is a logical, common sense approach that can be used to educate employees and the public in safe food handling procedures.


  • Timely adjustments are made to processes which will prevent loss of control and loss of product.


  • If control is lost it will be detected and appropriate actions can be taken to assure food safety and avoid costly products recalls.


  • Successful implementation of HACCP maintains consumer confidence in product safety with no perceptible change in product cost.


  • HACCP is the most effective means to assure food safety.


Ready-to-eat foods can be described as the status of foods being ready for immediate consumption at the point of sale. Ready-to-eat foods could be raw or cooked, hot or chilled and can be consumed without further heating (Tsang, 2002). Different terms have been used to describe such ready to eat foods. These include convenient, ready, instant and fast foods. Examples of such ready to eat foods include pastries, meat pie, sausage, rolls, burger, moimoi, salad or coleslaw, fried meat, fried chicken, milk and milk products (Caserani and Kinston, 1974). Street foods are ready-to-eat foods prepared and sold by vendors especially in streets and similar public places. The preparation and sale of street foods is an old-age activity. It is almost universal in developing countries, and in the industrial world. This activity has reached new dimensions as a result of rapid urbanization. The street foods are served quickly, are tasty and available at reasonable rates. They also attract all the age groups especially the younger generation. The safety and shelf-life of the street foods depend upon the interaction of chemicals, physical and microbial factors. From the health point of view the microbiological quality of foods become important. Street foods are frequently associated with diarrheal diseases which occur due to improper use of additives, the presence of pathogenic bacteria, environmental contaminants and disregard of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and good hygiene practices (GHPs).


According to Doyle and Evans (1999), food borne diseases are diseases resulting from ingestion of bacteria, toxins produced by microorganisms present in food. Data on issues of food borne diseases are well documented world-wide (Hazariwala et al.,2002). Foodborne illnesses is a major international health problem with consequent economic reduction and death (Duff et al., 2003).


Outbreaks of food borne diseases are caused by foods that are contaminated intrinsically or that become contaminated during harvesting, processing or preparation (Torok et al., 1997). In most countries, the most common foodborne illness is Staphylococcus food intoxication (Talaro et al., 1996). Enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus strains and E.coli strains have been isolated from foods implicated in illnesses (Adeyiwu, 1995, Firstenberg and Sullivan, 1997, Cencil et al; 2003). E.coli and S. aureus are normal flora in humans and animals, their presence in foods are indications of excessive human handling (Adamolekun and Adamolekun, 1992).


In Nigeria and many other developing countries, there are inadequate diagnostic facilities, leading to inadequate investigation of outbreaks and the subsequent gross under-reporting of food-borne illnesses. Bacteria are the causative agents of food borne illnesses in 60% of cases requiring hospitalization and 5000 deaths each year in United States of America (Mead et al., 1999). In France it is estimated that these pathogens cause 10,200-17,800 hospitilizations yearly (Vaillant et al., 2005).The international impact of food borne illness is difficult to estimate. However, 2.1 million children in developing countries die due to diarrheal-related illnesses annually. It is suspected that food or water is the vehicle for many of these illnesses (WHO, 2002). Since food is biological in nature and is capable of supplying consumers with nutrients, it is equally capable of supporting the growth of contaminating microorganisms. Water supplies may contain pathogens when contaminated with feacal matter. In Nigeria a number of foods have been reported to have high incidence of bacteria (Adesiyun, 1995; Okonko et al., 2009; Bello et al., 2013; Adesetanetal., 2013). Despite increasing insight into the contamination routes, pathogenic microorganisms found in food is not declining(Anon, 1992). The number of registered cases of food borne intoxications and infections rises each year. It was estimated that there are about 4.5 million cases in the Netherlands (Hoogenboom-Verdegaal et al., 1989). Epidemiological research revealed that most cases resulted from meals prepared at home (80%) (Hoogenboom-Verdegaal et al.,1992). However, many foodborne diseases where large numbers of people were involved have been reported. Most of these cases were traceable to catering enterprises producing fresh meals. Consumption of the contaminated food components usually occurred 24hours or more after production. It is very important that measures are taken to prevent food borne diseases; not only can sickness and discomfort be averted in this way, but also economic losses will be limited (Todd, 1989). As the level of primary contamination with pathogens is generally low, mainly spoilage organisms will be present at the expiry data. Research by Roberts and Gilbert (1986) confirms this report. They examined meal components served to airline passengers in London. Total counts were sometimes high, but examination for the presence of Salmonella, Bacilluscereus, Clostridium perfringes and Staphylococcus aureus resulted in only a few positive cases. Many researchers have realized that adequate protection of the consumer from foodborne illnesses cannot be achieved by microbiological quality controls of final products, but rather by controlling the whole production process (Boberg and David, 1974; Bryan and Lyon, 1984; Bryan, 1990). In order to achieve this, HACCP is recommended (ICI&F, 1989).


However, meat pies have the tendency to get spoilt quickly. This is because of its fillings, which are mainly meat, potatoes and little quantity of vegetables. Due to the high nutrient content available in the fillings of the meat pie, this makes microorganisms to thrive easily in meat pie. Meat pie are preferred taken hot and in an attempt to maintain it hot, high electric bulb voltage or ban-marie are normally used. The possibility of contaminating the meat pie with spores of thermophilic bacteria such as Clostridium perfringes is not rare.


1.2 Statement of Research Problems

The presence of Salmonella in ready-to-eat food (meatpie) depicts a deplorable state of poor hygiene and sanitary practices employed in the processing and packaging of these food products (El-Gohany 1994). As a result of this, meat pie sold in kiosk, eateries, shops and on the streets are exposed to high contamination thereby resulting in food-borne illnesses (Tjos et al., 1977; Epstein and Havter, 2011).

This unhygienic and unsanitary preparation, processing, storage, distribution and sales of meat pie by food vendors in addition to exposure to the bad environmental conditions pose great hazards to public health (Williams, 1984).

There have also been cases of spoilt meat pie fillings at the point of purchase. Therefore there is need to evaluate the microbial quality of meat pies consumed by the ever increasing population especially when they are purchased from local points of sales.


1.3 Justification

Salmonella is of significant public health concern, because humans and animals can become infected from consumption of food/feed and drinking water contaminated with Salmonella spp from faeces of infected animals (Jackson et al., 2007).

This type of surveillance work provides an important baseline measurement for the microbiological quality of foods available to consumer within a locality and threats to human health that are associated with consumption of these foods.

Also, there is paucity of information on the bacteriological quality and isolation of Salmonella spp from meat pies sold in Zaria. This, therefore, shows the importance of this study. Hence the study is aimed at determining the wholesomeness of meat pies sold in Zaria Metropolis with a view to ascertain their wholesomeness and make relevant recommendations for the promotion of public health.


1.4 Aim and Objectives

1.4.1 Aim of the study

The aim of this work was to assess the bacteriologic quality of meat pie sold in some retail outlets in Zaria, Nigeria


1.4.2 Objectives of the study


  1. Determine the critical control points in the production of meat pie sold in retail outlets in Zaria, Nigeria.


  1. Determine the level of bacteriological contamination of meat pie sold in retail outlets in Zaria.


  1. Isolate and identify Salmonella spp at different stages of meat pie production, using phenotypic and serologic characters


  1. Determine the virulence by detecting invA gene using PCR.


1.5 Research Questions


  1. What are the critical control points in the production of meat pies sold in retail outlets in Zaria, Nigeria.


  1. What is the level of bacteriologic contamination of meat pie sold in retail outlets in Zaria.


  1. Does meat pie sold in Zaria contain Salmonella spp as microbial contamination?


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