Microbiological Quality of Raw Camel Milk across the Kenyan Market Chain
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The objective of this study was to determine the microbiological quality of camel milk at critical points along the market chai n. 36 camel milk samples were assessed by plating counts of total bacteria (TBC), Streptococcus/Enterococcus (PSEC), yeast and mold (YMC), Enterobacteriaceae (EBC), and Staphylococcus (PSC). At milking level all milk samples had TBCs not exceeding 10 5 cfu ml -1 . EBC exceeding 10 3 cfu ml -1 indicating grade II quality was found in 25% of primary collectors’ milk. 75% of bulked milk at the final market had TBC exceeding 10 6 cfu ml -1 and EBC of 5.0 × 10 4 cfu ml -1 ; grade III and IV quality of raw milk an indicator of poor quality and threat to human health according to Kenya qua lity standards. All microbiological counts increased along the market chain with m ilk pH changing from 6.49 at milking level to 6.39 at final market. The air and water at the milking level were grossly contaminated w hile milk containers at milking and primary collection centers needed more appropriate sanitization procedures.