Street food has become unavoidable in the current scheme of restoration in urban Africa. This study aimed to study the microbiological contamination of a refreshing artisanal drink, Gnamakoudji, made from Zingiber officinale sold in the city of Daloa (Côte d’Ivoire). Physicochemical tests showed that Gnamakoudji is an acidic drink (pH ≈ 3.83) and very sweet (0.2 gmL-1). Microbiological analyses revealed a high level of contamination. For mesophilic aerobic germs, the CFU/mL load ranged from 6.5×109 to 3.9×1010. The CFU/mL load for yeasts and molds ranged from 1.5×106 to 1.4×107. Total coliforms and enterobacteria ranged between 2.2× 104 to 1.7×105 CFU/mL for the first and 1.7× 104 to 9.5x 104 CFU/mL for the second. Worse, pathogenic bacterial species have been found in the Gnamakoudji of all neighborhoods. Gbokora and Grand-marche Gnamakoudji were contaminated with E. coli alone with 5x105 and 4x105 CFU/mL, respectively. That of the other neighborhoods contained both E. coli, S. aureus and Salmonella sp. The charges in E. coli and S. aureus oscillated between 4×104 and 1.4×105 for the first and 2.5×104 to 5×104 CFU/mL for the second. Salmonella sp was found in samples from the other four quarters (Commerce, Tazibouo, Labia and Soleil) with loads that ranged from 105 to 1.4×105 CFU/mL. These colony counts were unequally distributed and far exceeded the microbiological standards for juices and fruit drinks. The empirical manufacture of Gnamakoudji and the difficult sales conditions would increase the risk of contamination. The street Gnamakoudji is unfit for human consumption. Strategies to ensure the availability of a healthy Gnamakoudji must be put in place with government authorities, the private sector and consumers. This scientific data could help to develop codes of practice for the safety of Gnamakoudji in order to avoid diseases transmitted by street foods.
Key words: Microbial contamination, gnamakoudji, street food, Daloa, Côte d’Ivoire.
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