The protein and caloric values and the microbiological quality of street foods in Dar-es-salaam Tanzania
Monyo, Hellen Marilyn
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Between November, 1992 and March, 1993, a cross-sectional survey on sanitary quality, protein and caloric values of street foods, was carried out in industrial areas of Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania. The purpose of the study was to evaluate vendor hygiene practices, as well as microbial and nutritive quality of foods sold by street food vendors. The industrial area was divided into eight sections, five were randomly selected to make five study clusters and the remaining three were used for the pretest. Four cf L.he clusters relied on water from factories while the fifth one had tap water. A total of 91 street food vendors were interviewed, and 87 food samples were tested for microbial load and were subjected to proximate analysis. Sixteen different types of foods were being sold in various combinations by vendors in the industrial areas. Meal portions ranged from 644.0 to 871.0 grams, while their caloric values ranged from 159 to 286 Cal/100g, and protein value ranged from 8.86 to 12.6g/100g. Values are recorded on dry weight basis using an average of three determinations. Street food vendors were mainly women of between 30-39 years of age. The majority of vendors had seven years of formal education. Microbial contamination was present in levels above those normally acceptable for foods to be safe for human consumption. Aerobic plate counts (APe) exceeded 105 cfulg in a number of food samples. Faecal coliform levels above 102 cfulg can cause food poisoning, and a large number of the foods had counts exceeding this level. Escherichia coli, which should not be present in food, was found in a number of samples. Kachumbari, ugali, meat stew and pilau, cassava leaves, bean stew and rice were found to be contaminated with Escherichia coli. Microbial contamination was found to be significantly higher in the foods prepared by vendors without access to toilets and tap water than those who had these facilities. Kachumbari was the most highly contaminated food, followed by rice, for coliform and Escherichia coli counts. The study established that, vendors sell a variety of foods, at relatively low prices, and that most of these constitute staples that are common in most regions of Tanzania. Food sanitary quality needs improvement but the nutritive value is adequate to meet the Recommended Daily Intakes of protein and 50% of calories recommended for men who do moderate work (age 18-60) .