keywords: Fresh-cut-fruits (FcFs), Antibiotics resistance, Food safety, Pineapple, Watermelon
The consumption of fresh-cut-fruits constitutes health risks owing to the effects of microbial contamination. This study assessed the bacteriological safety of fresh-cut-pineapples and -watermelons vended in Ibadan, Nigeria. Sixteen samples were randomly obtained from clusters of retailers in Challenge and Odo-ona markets, Ibadan and analyzed for loads of bacterial groups by standard culturing methods. The isolates were subjected to various biochemical tests, and screened for haemolytic activities and antibiotic resistance. The counts of total bacteria, Escherichia coli, coliforms, and Staphylococcus aureus ranged from 1.00±0.33 to 5.60± 0.56, 1.50±0.50 to 4.50±0.50, 0.80±0.30 to 5.10 ± 0.40 and 0.93 ± 0.33 to 4.90 ± 0.31 Log10 CFU/g respectively. A total of 36 isolates were obtained and identified as S. aureus (58.30%), E. coli (19.40%), Salmonella sp. (13.90%), and Pseudomonas sp. (8.40%). Among the bacterial isolates, 13 were β-haemolytic, 19 and four were α- and γ-haemolytic respectively. Bacterial isolates demonstrated species/strain specific resistance to different antibiotics. Strains of E. coli, Salmonella sp. and Pseudomonas sp. showed 100% resistance to Efuroxime and Cloxacilin, while only strains of Pseudomonas sp. were 100 % resistant to Augmentin, Gentamycin and Ceftriaxone. Nineteen resistance patterns were demonstrated by the isolates, with multiple antibiotic indices ranging from 0.46 to 1.00. The results from this study suggest that fresh-cut pineapples and watermelons vended in Ibadan are highly contaminated with multiple antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria, could constitute public health risks. Therefore, increased awareness of hygienic practices and training vendors of this category of products on food safety measures are recommended.