Estimation and Characterization of Coliforms in Vended Food and Water Samples in Nsukka Area

Sixty–six (66) food and ten (10) water samples from Nsukka metropolis were screened for the presence of coliforms using the Most probable number (MPN) technique and direct plate count on MacConkey agar/broth and Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB) agar for isolating those from both faecal and human origin. The isolates were characterized biochemically analysed using standard conventional methods. The geometric mean counts (GMC) using MPN ranged from 1-180 faecal coliforms per 100 ml for both food and water samples. However, food samples (66.7%) served in plates and water sources (83.3%) showed apparent signs of contamination probably from the human and water sources, handling and storage unlike foods from the pots that had no trace of contamination. Faecal coliforms were E. coli (42.4%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (37.4%) and others(20.20%)of non-human origin. The E. coli count ranged between 22.2% (“abacha”) and 83.3% (beans ,rice, yam) as well as water(50.0% ).Thus, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the indicator organisms (E. coli) in the food, storage vats and water sources. The faecal and human coliforms in foods and water were indications of foodborne diseases

 IE Mbaeyi, CU Iroegbu