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Original Research

Sokoto J. Vet. Sci.. 2022; 20(1): 50-58

Handling practices and contamination of raw milk sold for consumption in markets of Kwara State, Nigeria

I Ghali-Mohammed, IA Odetokun, IA Raufu & VO Adetunji.


Milk handling practices in the Nigerian informal sector are usually poorly done. This is a threat to food safety and public health. We investigated the common practices by handlers involved in the milk processing and the contamination levels of raw cow milk marketed for consumption in Kwara State, Nigeria. In a cross-sectional survey, a pre-tested questionnaire (n = 500) was administered to consenting vendors to assess practices employed in milk processing. Raw cattle milk (n = 1225) sold in markets of Kwara State were assessed for contamination using the Total aerobic count (TAC) and Total coliform count (TCC) methods. Data were analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics. The majority of respondents were married (84%), females (65.2%), and had no formal education (43.2%). Some unwholesome practices among vendors such as pooling unsold milk (40.6%), adding unsterilized water to milk (22.2%), and sourcing water from streams (53.2%) were reported. Females (OR = 0.09; 95% CI: 0.040, 0.170; p < 0.001) and those with tertiary educational level (OR=0.01, 95% CI: 0.002, 0.041; p < 0.001) were less likely to be associated with unsatisfactory hygienic practices. All TAC and TCC were higher than 5logcfu/ml and higher counts were observed in the dry season. Because of public safety, a high-level hygienic and good milk handling practices – while enlightenment of vendors on standard hygiene, are required.

Key words: Hygienic practices, Kwara State, Milk contamination, Total aerobic count, Total coliform count

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