Microbial load and microflora of weaning foods obtained from pediatric outpatients in Addis Ababa


  • Wolde-Aregay Erku
  • Mogessie Ashenafi


Abstract: One hundred samples of feeding bottle contents from outpatient infants visiting four public clinics in Addis Ababa were analyzed for their microbial load and microflora. Forty-nine percent of the infants were female. The educational status of the mothers was illiterate (21%), elementary-level education (27%), and high-school level education and above (52%). Ingredients of the feeding bottles consisted of six different types and about 60% of the studied infants consumed cow's milk. Over 50% of the mothers used the same bottle throughout the day to feed the child and only 9% used three or more bottles interchangeably. High levels of bacterial contamination were observed in all samples with counts ranging between 1.6x105 and 9.9x108 cfu/ml of bottle content. Cow's milk and cereal gruel were the most heavily contaminated ones. A total of 366 bacterial strains belonging to 12 genera were isolated from feeding bottle contents. The dominant isolates were coliforms (31.2%), followed by staphylococci (30.1%), Bacillus spp. (19.1%), and micrococci (14.2%). Of the factory-produced weaning food samples (30), only nine were contaminated with over 102 cfu/g or ml. Possible sources of high contamination could be poorly cleaned and frequently re-used utensils, contamination during refilling and feeding bottles themselves. Findings of this study indicated the need for educating mothers on hygienic handling of infant food. The importance of thorough cleaning of feeding bottles and avoiding post-cooking contamination during storing the cooked foods should be stressed. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 1998;12(2):141-147]




How to Cite

Erku, W.-A., & Ashenafi, M. (2017). Microbial load and microflora of weaning foods obtained from pediatric outpatients in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 12(2). Retrieved from https://ejhd.org/index.php/ejhd/article/view/948

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