This study evaluated the microbiological safety of meat and ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products in Nakuru County, Kenya. Eighty seven (87) meat and RTE meat products samples and fifteen (15) water samples were collected randomly from four sub counties of Nakuru County. Standard methods were used for isolation and identification of common food-borne. All the meat products had pH range of 4.6â€“6.3 and 82.5% of them had temperatures below 55.0ÂºC. For the different pathogens assessed in the meat and RTE meat products, prevalence for S. aureus was 100%, 93% for Shigella spp., 91% for E. coli and 78.5% for Salmonella spp. Roasted meats analyzed were contaminated with S. aureus, Shigella spp., E. coli and Salmonella spp., while beef stews had 0% prevalence for Shigella spp. Raw meats assessed had the highest total viable counts (> 7.8 log10 cfu/g), total coliform counts, S. aureus and E. coli (> 6.9. log10 cfu/g) while stewed goat meats had the lowest counts of the above mentioned microbes. Butcheries had the highest counts for all the microorganisms while makeshift food kiosks had the lowest E. coli counts. Water samples had Salmonella, Shigella spp. and E. coli spp. (> 5 log10 cfu/ml). These results indicate a public health risk for the consumers of RTE meat products in Nakuru County.
Keywords: Foodborne pathogens; Ready-To-Eat meat products; Salmonella; Shigella; E. coli; Microbiological safety