Assessing Handling of Complementary Foods towards Prevention of Iron Losses among Infants in Keiyo South Subcounty, Kenya

Faith Onyangore, Gertrude Were, Lizzy Mwamburi


The use of concepts such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control (HACCP) system is still problematic at household level hence the hygienic status of complementary foods cannot be assumed. Unhygienic complementary foods at the commencement of feeding are a major cause of diarrhea. Gastrointestinal disorders that result in inflammation of the small intestine may result in diarrhea, poor absorption of dietary iron, and iron depletion. A cross sectional study design was adopted in this survey. Data was collected from both the swabs from the hands of 136 mothers were as well as from interview schedules. The data was collected at Biretwo, Cheptebo and Sego health facilities and the lab work at University of Eldoret. Solutions were made in 10ml of distilled water, selenite broth and 10 ml of tetrathionate broth. All samples were collected in sterile containers and then transported immediately in an ice chest to the laboratory for analysis. Ten milliliters of each sample was homogenized in 90 ml sterile diluent using a stomacher for 30s, at a preset speed. Tenfold serial dilution was made with the same diluent and 0.1ml aliquot of each appropriate dilutions was spread-plated while 1ml was poured-plated in duplicates on various media for enumeration of isolates. Tetrathinate, selenite, salmonella-shigella agar, mackonkey and blood agar was used to isolate various microorganisms incubated at 30oC for 48-72 hours. Phenotypic characterization was then conducted. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social the Sciences (SPSS) computer software version 17, 2009. The results indicated that the highest number of mothers (76.4%) had their hands contaminated with Salmonella. None of the mothers had Clostridium, Listeria, Brucella or Campylobacter species. This was against the prevelance of iron deficiency anemia of 53.5% among infants aged six to nine months. Other bacterial species that were found were Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Klebsiella spp. Hygienic handwashing was significant factor and also predicted iron deficiency anemia hygiene hand washing (t=-2.000; p=0.047). Hygiene programs that focus on proper ways of preparing and handling complementary foods that minimize risks of bacterial contamination should be taught to mothers.

Keywords: Food, Handling, Complementary, Infants

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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