Chicken meat is one of the predominantly consumed foods of animal origin in Nigeria with constant increase in demand normally met by local retail market. Processed chicken at the retail chicken meat markets in Abuja were screened for the presence of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) strains. A total of 273 faecal samples were collected using moistened sterile swabs and processed for E. coli isolation following standard cultural and biochemical procedures. Isolated E. coli samples were cultured on sorbitol McConkey (SMAC) and cefiximetellurite sorbitol McConkey (CT-SMAC) agar to assess their ability to ferment sorbitol. Samples were further characterized using commercially procured dry spot polyvalent serocheck and specific seroscreen agglutination test kits. Two (0.73%) of the samples tested positive to O157VTEC, while 5 (1.83%) tested positive to non-O157VTEC. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between VTEC infection and season. The study indicated that processed chicken meat sold at the retail chicken market may serve as a potential vehicle for the spread of VTEC infection and other food borne pathogens. Consumer food safety education is important in control programmes.
Key words: Occurrence, verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC), processed chicken, retail market, strain.
Copyright © 2021 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0