keywords: Crab, Boiling, Frozen, Frying, Lagos Lagoon.
The Lagoon Crab (Callinectes amnicola) is a common palatable species consumed in Lagos State, Nigeria. This study determined the bacterial characteristics of fresh and processed crabs using microbiological standard techniques. The result revealed a Total Bacteria Counts of 6.64 x 10 5 for fresh crab while reduction in frozen and boiled samples with respective values of 5.48 x 10 4 CFU/g and 2.41 x 10 4 CFU/g. The fried crabs had the lowest Total Coliform Counts and Total Fecal Coliforms of 2.59 x 10 3 CFU/g and of 0.10 x 10 1 Cfu/g respectively. Five genera consisting both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were isolated from the fresh and processed crabs. The isolates were identified as Baccillus sp., Coccobacillus sp., Enterobacter sp., Klebsiella sp. and Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus had the highest prevalent rates of 25 % and 28 % in fresh and frozen crabs respectively while Baccillus sp and Enterobacter sp. had the highest prevalent rates in boiled and fried samples respectively. The inhibitory zones of antibiotic resistance and sensitivity revealed variable antibiogram patterns of the tested isolates where all the isolates were resistant to Ciprofloxacin. The comparison of the fresh and processed crabmeat showed that the processing steps have a considerable effect on the bacterial quality of fresh C. amnicola by reducing the distribution and abundance of the identified bacteria. However, the presence of resistant pathogens which are also human pathogens is a public health threat. Compliance with standard microbiological measures to prevent contamination by these organisms becomes very necessary.