The study was conducted in Ada`a district, central Ethiopia to assess the microbial quality of fermented milks. A total of 70 fermented milk samples were collected and tested for microbial analysis from smallholder (40), Bishoftu town cafeteria (20) and modern dairy farms (10). The mean TBC ( Total Bacterial Counts) were 8.4±0.152, 9.2±0.083 and 8.9±0.146 log10 cfu ml-1 for fermented milk from the smallholder dairy, cafeteria and modern dairy farms, respectively with overall mean 8.7±0.102 and there were significant differences among them(P?0.05). Overall mean TCC (Total Coliform Count) of fermented milk in the study area were 4.48, 4.60 and 4.63 log10 cfu ml-1 for fermented milk samples from the smallholder dairy, cafeteria and modern dairy farms, respectively. TCC were non-significantly different (p ?0.05) among milk samples from smallholder dairy, Bishoftu town cafeteria and Modern dairy farms. Fermented milk sample from smallholder dairy, Bishoftu town cafeteria and modern dairy farms had mean TBC and TCC of 8.7±0.102 log10 cfu/ml and 4.55±0.069 log10 cfu/ml, respectively. There were significant differences in TBC but non-significant differences in TCC (P>0.05) among fermented milk from above sources. In this study, higher TCC and TBC were found in fermented milk samples which imply poor hygienic conditions. Thus, effective preventive measures should be needed at all stages starting from production to consumption level along value chain in the study area and further investigations were needed to identify the isolation and detection of the pathogenicity analysis of bacteria to determine their contribution on microbial quality.
Keywords: Fermented milk; hygienic quality; total bacterial and coliform counts, Ada`a district (Ethiopia)