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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9758

Title: Improving food hygiene in Africa where vegetables are irrigated with polluted water
Authors: Amoah, Philip
Drechsel, Pay
Abaidoo, Robert C.
Abraham, Ernest M.
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2009
Abstract: Due to inappropriate and inadequate urban sanitation infrastructure in Ghana wastewater from households and other facilities ends up in nearby water bodies, which are often used as sources of irrigation water. However, this practice could have adverse public health and environmental effects, especially because untreated wastewater has high population of pathogenic organisms. The purpose of this study was to determine the current level of exposure of the Ghanaian local population to faecal coliform (FC) through the consumption of wastewater irrigated vegetables and to analyse and improve the effectiveness of common washing methods for the reduction of faecal microorganism populations on the surface of wastewater-irrigated vegetables. The levels of pathogen on market vegetables produced with wastewater were determined. Questionnaire interviews were also used to gather information on common methods used for washing vegetables in 11 cities in West Africa. The efficacy of the common decontamination methods was measured in terms of log reductions in FC populations on homogenised contaminated vegetable samples. High FC and helminth eggs contamination levels exceeding common guidelines for food quality were recorded on the market vegetables. Methods used to wash vegetables vary widely within and between Ghana and neighbouring francophone West African (WA) countries. However, several of the most common methods do not reduce the contamination to any desirable level. Significantly, different log reductions are achieved depending on the washing method and contact time. Tests to improve the apparent ineffective methods were especially promising in view of the relatively expensive vinegar. However, up to 3 log units reduction is also possible at a much lower price with ‘Eau de Javel’ (bleach), which is commonly used in francophone WA. Washing vegetables before consumption is important for health risk reduction. However, any washing method will need complementary efforts to reduce pathogen contamination.
Description: An article published by Amoah...et.al in Accra ,Ghana on 10-12 November, 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9758
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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