The aim of this study was to assess the microbial quality of raw beef of butcher shops around Addis Ababa city. A total of 60 samples (N=60) of raw beef were randomly collected from Dukem (N=20), Kara (N-20) and Burayu (N=20) and biologically tested for total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, total coliform, yeast and mold, Staphylococcus species, Bacillus species and psychrophilic bacteria count using standard procedures. A mean of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, yeast and mold, Staphylococcus spp., Bacillus spp. and psychrophilic bacteria count showed highly significant difference across the locations (P<0.05) except for total coliform. Overall, mean for total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, total coliform, yeast and mold, Staphylococcus spp., Bacillus spp. and psychrophilic bacteria count was 8.34, 4.69, 6.01, 5.36, 5.45, 4.26 log 10 cfu/g, respectively. Microbial quality of raw beef collected in Dukem site was the lowest compared to Kara and Burayu while Burayu site had the highest microbial count. The presence of high microbial count in this study might indicate improper meat handling and poor sanitary condition of slaughter houses, personnel, transportation and storage. Thus, to reduce the risks of food borne bacterial infections, there is a need to educate and be aware to practice good sanitation and safe meat handling techniques for butcher shops and personnel.
Key words: Bacillus, raw beef, total coliform, total aerobic mesophilic, psychrophilic, staphylococcus, yeast, mold.
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