Food Hygiene and Safety Among Cake Bakeries in Gaza Governorate

Bashir Ahmad Mourad
بشير احمد مراد
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Al-Quds University
Cake is considered as a perishable food with high risk of exposure to microbial contamination where it contains (milk and eggs), which may be introduce microbial pathogen at some point along the food chain. Across sectional study was used to assess food hygiene and safety among cake bakeries in suburbs of Gaza Governorate. Ninety questionnaire interviews were conducted with cake workers in cake making plant in Gaza Governorate during the period from January to July 2008. In addition 173 cake samples were collected for microbial analysis from cake making plant in the same period. The microbial analysis was carried out in ministry of health food and water laboratory for total bacterial count, S. aureus, coliforms, E-coli, mold and O.lacts. The questionnaire results showed the mean age of the study population was 29.9 years. Workers experience and training represents 58.9% and 42.2%, respectively. A total of 70 (77.8%) workers had medical examination. There was a good hygiene practice in respect to hand washing. Seventy four (82.2%) workers mentioned that workers, tools, ingredients are the source of microbial contamination. Workers who had knowledge about microbial food spoilage were 81 (90.0%). Seventy seven (85.6%) workers checked the primary ingredients when receiving before accepting. 79 (87.8%) cake workers stated that pest control is applied in the plant. Concerning disinfections of tools and equipments, 54 (60.0%) workers made disinfection. A total of 74 (82.2%) workers used containers with well closed lid. Seventy two (80.0%) workers claimed that the plants are licensed. Most workers 54 (60.0%) reported that the plant is mainly inspected by the Ministry of Health. Microbial analysis showed that the number of contaminated samples 148 (85.5%), 30 (17.3%), 94 (54.3)%, 29 (16.8%), 20 (11.6%) and 11 (8.7%) with TBC, S. aureus, coliforms, E-coli, mold and O. lacts respectively. However, the number of the samples which considered unacceptable according to microbial limits 24 (13.9%), 29 (16.8%), 55(31.8%) and 29 (16.8%), TBC, S.aureus, coliforms, E-coli respectively. The means of 173 samples tested 1.01e5, 635.8,1.01e4, 1157.8, 92.49 and 135.3 for TBC, S. aureus, coliforms, E-coli, mold and O. lacts respectively. Whereas all the means higher than their microbial limits. One sample T test revealed that most of the mean difference was statistically significant P value less than 0.05. The means of 81 samples tested in winter 4.94e4, 256.8, 4198.8, 128.4, 55.6 and 112.4 for TBC, S.aureus, Coliforms, E.coli, mold and O.lacts; respectively, in addition 92 samples were tested in summer, the means were 1.47e5, 969.6, 1.53e4, 2064.1, 125.0 and 155.4 respectively. All the means of microbes were higher in summer than the microbial means in winter. The difference between the means related to high temperature in summer than winter which suitable temperature for microbial growth. Those results show the necessitates that workers should be trained in the filed of food safety before getting the work, the authority of food safety should emphasis on implementing HACCP in cake plant and Palestinian cake standard should be established.