Hygienic design of equipment and hygiene practices of processors among the micro and small enterprises in the soft drink industry: case of Nairobi, Kenya
Jebichi, Kitur Naomi
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A number of food borne disease outbreaks globally are associated with biofilms, which is considered an emergent public health concern. Biofilms have become a problem within food industries as it causes surfaces inhabited to be resistant to effective cleaning and sanitizing. Colonization of equipment surfaces by bacteria and subsequent biofilm formation can be sources of cross contamination during food processing, leading to the lowering of product quality and predisposing consumers to possible pathogenesis. This study was designed to evaluate the status of compliance of processing equipment used by Micro and Small Enterprises in the soft drink industry in Nairobi Kenya, to the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) criteria. Equipment cleaning regimes and the hygiene practices in these enterprises, and the post-cleaning microbial accumulation in the processing equipment were also assessed. A checklist based on the EHEDG criteria and semi-structured questionnaires were administered to the enterprises. Face to face interviews were carried out with personnel in charge of production and quality control, as well as physical observation of the hygienic design status of the equipment. Microbial swabbing was carried out on food contact surfaces and hand swabs of personnel using horizontal methods according to ISO 18593: 2004, and samples analysed for selected microorganisms using standardized analytical methods based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. The data obtained was analysed using SPSS version 20 (SPSS Inc.) and results presented using Microsoft Office Excel 2010. Majority of the sampled enterprises did not comply with the hygienic design criteria at 48%, compared with those who complied at 36%. Similarly, the cleaning regimes of majority of the enterprises (56%), involved Cleaning-Out-of-Place (COP) using manual methods with either liquid soap or powdered multi-purpose soap as the main aids. Verification of cleaning and sanitizing effectiveness was only carried out by 6% of the enterprises through analysis of swabs or rinses for residual microorganisms or detergents. Hygiene of the equipment and personnel were evaluated using microbial contamination of Escherichia.coli, Staphyloccocus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, coliforms, Total Viable Count and Enterobacteriacea. Escherichia coli was detected in the hands of one food handler at one of the enterprises and Staphyloccus aureus in the hands of one food handler at another. This was indicative of poor personnel hygiene practices and a potential source of cross-contamination to the equipment and food products. Escherichia coli was also detected in food contact surfaces (processing equipment) in eight of the enterprises with Pseudomonas aeruginosa being detected on the surfaces of equipment of three enterprises. While Listeria monocytogenes was not detected in any of the enterprises, 88%, 71% and 71% had Total Viable Counts, Enterobacteriaceae and coliform counts above the recommended levels respectively. Majority of Micro and Small Enterprises in the soft drink subsector use processing equipment that do not comply with the hygienic design criteria. The cleaning and sanitizing regimes employed by the majority of these enterprises are also not adequate to ensure food safety. The regimes do not follow the recommended procedures for effective cleaning. The study concludes that the status of hygienic design considerations of processing equipment and the hygiene practices among the processors within the Micro and Small category of enterprises in the soft drink industry are low. This leads to ineffective cleaning and sanitizing, and possibility of contamination of the products with hazardous microorganisms from the equipment and personnel. The study recommends extensive creation of awareness of hygienic design requirements of food processing equipment among the food industry stakeholders, training of personnel in Micro and Small Enterprises to improve hygiene practices and enhanced local authority inspections, to ensure food safety.
CitationMaster of science in food safety and quality
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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