Int. J. Biosci.19(2), 65-71, August 2021
Being a source of major contamination, dirty hands can contaminate food, resulting in various food-borne illnesses caused by enteric bacteria. This study was designed to isolate enteric bacteria associated with the hands of food handlers working at various restaurants at Ring road, Peshawar, Pakistan. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on the socio-demographic characteristics and personal hygiene status of the participants. A total of 50 samples were collected using sterile swabs, from the palm of food handlers working at 15 different restaurants. McConkey’s agar media was inoculated using these swabs to allow only gram-negative bacteria to grow. The isolated bacteria were then identified and characterized according to Burgy’s manual. Based on the results of gram staining and different biochemical tests, only two types of enteric bacteria were identified such as Escherichia coli (n=24, 48%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (n=20, 40%), while no growth was observed in 6 samples. Antibiotic susceptibility profile revealed that the highest number isolates were resistant to Ceftriaxone (30µg) (43% resistant), and Amoxicillin (30µg)(43% resistant), followed by Ciprofloxacin (5µg)(13% resistant) and Imepenem (10µg)(9% resistant) respectively, while all the isolate were found susceptible to Amikacin (30µg).It was concluded from the current study that worker hygiene status was lacking hygiene standards, as bacterial contamination was observed on the hands of most of the subjects. The poor hygiene status of food handlers could result in food-borne diseases in food consumers and therefore, it is important to adapt standard hygiene practices while handling food.
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