Microbiological quality and antimicrobial resistance of Bacteria species recovered from ready-to-eat food, water samples, and palm swabs of food vendors in Accra, Ghana

Elsevier, International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 396, 2 July 2023
Dela H., Egyir B., Behene E., Sulemana H., Tagoe R., Bentil R. et al.

This study sought to investigate microbial quality and antimicrobial resistance of bacteria species from Ready-to-Eat (RTE) food, water, and vendor palm swab samples. Between 2019 and 2020, RTE food, water and vendor palm swab samples were collected from food vending sites in Accra, Ghana. Samples were cultured and confirmed using the Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was conducted using disk diffusion method. Beta-lactamase and Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) genes were determined using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Total plate count (TPC) and Total coliform count (TCC) were performed on food and water samples. In total, 179 RTE food, 72 water and 10 vendor palm swab samples were collected. Enterobacter spp. (16.8 %), Citrobacter spp. (10.1 %), Enterococcus faecalis (7.8 %), Pseudomonas spp. (6.7 %) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (4.0 %) occurred in food. Isolates from water and palm were Klebsiella pneumoniae (20.8 %), Aeromonas spp. (16.7 %) and Enterobacter cloacae (11.1 %). Resistance to Amoxicillin-clavulanate, Tetracycline, Azithromycin, Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and Nitrofurantoin were common among Enterobacterales. High mean TPC and TCC showed in some RTE food and different water types used in vending depicting their unsafe condition for consumption and usage. The blaSHV and blaTEM genes were present in some Enterobacterales from food and water. The lt gene was identified in two food samples. AMR organisms associated with nosocomial infections in the samples investigated, calls for continuous surveillance in the food industry in Ghana. Also, the unsafe outcome of RTE food and water depicts the need for the enforcement of Ghana's food safety laws.