Joy Deborah Orwa, Patrick Simiyu Muliro and Joseph Wafula Matofari
The study aimed at profiling the microbiological quality of raw milk from the udder to the cooling centers in rural and peri-urban. Samples were collected directly from the udder, at the farm gate, from transporters delivering to cooling centers and from the bulking centers. A total of 461 raw milk samples were collected. Microbiological analysis were done following standard procedures of ISO and American Public Health Association, these included Total Viable Count (TVC), Coliform Counts (CC), Thermophilic bacteria counts (ThBC) and Psychrophillic bacteria counts (PBC). Indicator microorganisms enumerated were Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterobacteriaceae E. coli and Bacillus spp. For both nodes the collection centers recorded the highest in TVC (Rural 105 cfu/ml, Peri urban 106 cfu/ml) with transporters at both nodes recording the highest percentage for gram negative rods (rural 63.3%, peri urban 62.5%). ThBC was significantly different at the farm and bulking center in both dairy systems. PBC recorded highest counts at cooling centers in both dairy systems. Given the high counts recorded at all nodes (up to 107 CFU/ml), hygiene need to be high from milk production (farms) throughout the value chain. Cooling points along the value chains need to be introduced and use of food grade equipment to handle and transport milk would help in reducing microbial load in raw milk.
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