Bread is an important staple food that does not require further processing before consumption. Despite the awareness created and efforts of government to ensure that quality bread are available for consumption of all, there are several routes through which bread is being contaminated. The aim of the study was to assess the hygiene involved from the point of production to sale of bread and document pathogens isolated from bread. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study with 10 out of the 30 registered bakeries spread across wards randomly selected and only six consenting to participate (60% response rate), and a total of 10 representative bread sellers were purposively selected with respect to their spread in Ile Ife. Observational checklist was used to assess environmental and personal hygiene while microbiological specimens taken from bread were assessed for pathogenic contamination. Only a third of bakeries assessed had good hygiene while hygiene of bread sellers was suboptimal. Bread samples from bakeries and bread sellers yielded S. aureus in 33 and 90%, respectively. Several points of contamination were identified and poor bread handling practices documented. Existing laws should be enforced and bread sellers educated on proper handling of bread to prevent outbreaks of food borne illnesses.
Key words: Bread, food safety, hygiene, food-borne.