Frequency of contamination in retail meat sold in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State was examined in the present study. Three hundred raw meat samples including beef (n = 100), chicken (n = 100), chevron (n = 100) were collected from Abakaliki abattoir and were analyzed for microbiological contamination using standard Microbiological methods. Antimicrobial susceptibility of isolated microbes was determined using the Kirby and Bauer method of disc diffusion. Out of the 300 samples, 79 (29.3%) were contaminated with bacteria species including Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae and Staphylococcus aureus. Of these,E. coli had the highest occurrence (8%), followed by K. pneumoniae (5.3%), S. typhi (5%),S. dysenteriae 2.6%, P. aeruginosa 2.0%, B. cereus 2.0% and S. aureus (1.3%). The antibiotic susceptibility studies showed an alarming level of resistance to all the tested antibiotics reflecting multi-drug resistant strains. Our data confirms the circulation of antibiotic resistant pathogens in raw meat sold in Abakaliki abattoir and market, which could possibly play a role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance amongst food-borne bacteria.
Key words: Meat, abattoir, contamination, antibiotic resistance.
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