A prospective study was conducted in 2011 and 2012 to determine the occurrence and antibiotic resistant pattern of Staphylococcus aureus in soups prepared and sold in restaurants/food canteens and some selected families in Jalingo Metropolis, Taraba State, Nigeria. Two hundred (200) soup samples comprising of 100 from restaurants/food canteens and 100 from selected families were collected and processed. Out of the 200 soup samples, 84 (42%) were positive for S. aureus. The occurrence of S. aureus in soup samples from restaurants was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the families (48 vs. 36%). The occurrence of S. aureus according to the types of soup samples examined showed that green leaf (Aleyehu) soup has the highest (65.0%), followed by sorrel (Yakuwa) (57.5%), melon (Eguisi) (40.0%), stew (36.7%), okro (25.0%) and bitter leaf soup (0.0%). The antibiotic sensitivity result of the 84 S. aureus revealed that all (100%) the isolates were resistant to ampicillin and penicillin, 60 (71.4%) were resistant to tetracycline, 30 (35.7%) to erythromycin, 11 (13.1%) to sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim, 10 (11.9%) to gentamicin and 5 (6.0%) to chloramphenicol. None of the isolates was resistant to amikacin and ciprofloxacin. Unhygienic practices during processing and serving (post processing contamination) were the factors responsible for the high occurrence of S. aureus in the soup samples examined. The study recommends regular inspection of restaurants/food canteens and households by regulatory agencies and sanitary inspectors to ensure proper sanitary conditions before, during and after food preparation.
Key words: Antibiotic, resistant pattern, Staphylococcus aureus, soups.
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