This study investigated the public health risks associated with the consumption of carrots and apples sold in major markets in Osogbo metropolis, Osun State Nigeria. Hundred samples of the fruits (49 apples and 51 carrots) were obtained from five randomly selected spots in the four major markets, namely, Igbonna, Oke-fia, Alekuwodo, and Orisumbare in Osogbo metropolis. The samples were screened for microbial and parasitic contaminants using standard procedures. Seven microbial isolates, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aeureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillius cereus, Listeri monocytogenes, Citrobacter species, and Candida species; and two parasitic organisms, cysts of Entamoeba coli and ova of Ascaris lumbricoides were isolated from the fruits. The frequency of contaminants and the microbial load were higher in carrots than apples, though the variations were not statistically significant (P>0.05). There were significant variations in the level of parasitic contaminants of the fruits between the markets (Apple, P=0.035; Carrot, P=0.007). The results therefore demonstrated that carrots and apples sold in the major markets in Osogbo metropolis are contaminated with microbial pathogens and parasites that are capable of causing food-borne disorders to consumers. The vendors and the residents need to be educated on the public health risks inherent in unwholesome hygienic practices and its attendants effects in causing food-borne illnesses in the study area.
Key words: Fruits, carrots, apple, contamination, parasites, microorganisms, Nigeria.
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