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The present study was carried out to determine the bacteriological quality of pasteurized liquid milk samples sold at different shops in students market located at Imo state University front gate. A total of four samples were collected. The samples were examined to determine the total heterophilic bacterial count and total coliform count. Results revealed that two of the samples (1 and 2) yielded no growth on both Nutrient agar and MacConkey agar hence, were tagged satisfactory. Sample 2 and 3 yielded growth that ranges from 7.0X104 – 9.0 X104, 1.3 X105 – 1.3 X105 respectively. Further identification test carried out showed the presence of Escherichia coli and Enterobacter spp. in sample 3 and 4 hence they were tagged unsatisfactory. The presence of coliform bacteria shows the possibility of pathogenic bacteria and could cause disease.









Milk is an important food of diet of vast population on earth, due to its high nutritional value for human beings. Milk is an excellent growth medium of microorganism when suitable temperature exists. If it is produced unhygenically and handled carelessly, it gets contaminated very easily leading to its early spoilage (Oliver et al., 2005). Many milk-borne epidemics of human diseases have been spread by contamination of milk by spoiled hands of dairy workers, unsanitary utensils, flies and polluted water supplies. The same thing can be said for improper handling of foods in the home, restaurants, hospitals and other institutions.

The quality of milk is determined by aspects of composition and hygiene. Due to its complex biochemical composition and high water activity milk serves as an excellent culture medium for the growth and multiplication of many kinds of microorganisms.

The contamination of milk and milk products is largely due to human factor and unhygienic conditions. Usually milk gets contaminated with different kinds of microorganisms at milk collecting places. Milk is a major part of human food and plays a prominent role in the diet. Approximately 50% of the milk produced is consumed as fresh or boiled, one sixth as yoghurt or curd and remaining is utilized for manufacturing of indigenous varieties of milk products such as Ice cream, Butter, Khoa, Paneer, Rabri, Kheer, Burfi and Gulabjaman. The manufacture of these products is based on traditional method without any regard to the quality of raw material used and/or the hygienic quality of the products. Under such conditions many microorganisms can find access to the milk products.

Coliforms are considered as normal flora of intestinal tract of human and animals. They have been used as indicator organisms for bacteriological quality of milk and its products (Chatterjee et al., 2006).

Coliform count is always being taken as a definite index of fecal contamination of milk and its products, that besides the possible presence of enteric pathogens which may constitute health hazards to the consumers. The most important index of microbiological quality is total bacterial count, coliforms, yeast and moulds count and detection of specific pathogens and their toxins (Szita et al., 2008).

Among all micro-organisms Escherichia coli is frequently contaminating organism in food and is reliable indicator of fecal contamination and generally present due to insanitary conditions of water, food, milk and other dairy products (Jayarao and Henning, 2001). Recovery of E. coli from food is an indicative of possible presence of enteropathogenic or toxigenic micro-organism which could constitute a public health hazard. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EEC) can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children. Coliforms particularly Escherichia coli are frequently used in the microbiological analysis of food as an indicator of poor hygienic condition.

Microbiological examination of milk is essential to find the degree of contamination and enumeration of indicator organisms. The coliform bacteria are able to grow well in a variety of substrates and to utilize a number of carbohydrates and some other organic compounds as food for energy and a number of fairly simple nitrogenous compounds as a source of nitrogen. The coliform group of bacteria is defined as the indicator (faecal coliform) of suitability of milk for drinking (Wells et al., 1991). The present study has been designed to assess the milk quality of different milch animals with special reference to coliforms.


The aims of this study is to determine the microbial quality of liquid milk sold in Owerri metropolis in Imo State..



The objectives of this study is as follows;

  • Determination of the microbial load on the milk sample
  • To isolate organisms associated with liquid milk contamination
  • Identification of organism associated with liquid milk.


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