Assessment on Safety Status of Camel Raw Milk Marketed in Samara-Logia Town of Afar National Regional State, Northeast Ethiopia

Hussen Mohammed


A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine bacteriological quality of camel raw milk and to assess the risk factors associated with hygienic quality of camel milk marketed in Samara-Logia town, Afar, north-eastern Ethiopia from December 2013 to April 2014. One hundred thirty (130) milk samples were collected from randomly selected milk sellers and  assessed by plating  of total aerobic plate count (TAPC), psychrotrophic count (PC), aerobic mesophilic spore-former count (AMSC) and total coliforms count (TCC). Isolation and identification of S. aureus and E.coli was also done. The mean log10 counts per ml for TAPC, PC, AMSC and TCC were 6.37 log cfu/ml, 5.83 log cfu/ml, 4.69log cfu/ml and 4.87 log cfu/ml, respectively. From 130 examined milk samples, 88 (67.7 %) were found to be culture positive and yield at least one bacterium. S. aureus and E.coli were found in 56.2 % and 24.6 % milk samples, respectively. According to Kenya quality standards for whole unpasteurized milk more than 86.2 % of milk samples had TAPC at the final market exceeded the acceptable limit of 106 cfu/ml; (grade III or fair) quality of raw milk an indicator of poor quality and point out the potential health risk of consuming raw camel milk under the present production conditions. Result of the questionnaire survey show that milk was generally produced by the pastoral communities under unhygienic environmental conditions with the use of poor quality river water for cleaning. Hence, based on the bacteriological results coupled with the consumer’s habit of raw milk consumption and cultural taboo on boiling milk, it is concluded that this milk may pose a public health hazard with different milk-borne pathogens. Therefore, in order to safeguard consumer health and to strengthen the source of income through the sale of milk by producers and sellers, there should be initiatives to lower microbiological contamination of camel milk starting from milking level to final market. To ensues safety status of camel milk, training on hygienic handling of milk for herders, other interventions that focus on provision of clean water, milk cooling facilities at milking level and efficient or organized milk transportation and storage systems are necessary.

Keywords: Bacteriological quality, Camel milk, local market, Samara-Logia

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

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