Microbial Contamination Associated with “Wagashi-Cheese” Production in Sissala East District- Ghana
- Grace Mwini
- Sarah Darkwa
The purpose of the study was to identify the possible sources of microbial contamination in the production of Wagashi-Cheese in the Sissala East District, Upper West Region of Ghana. Also, the hygienic practices involved were examined. A survey, observation and experiment were used to collect data. Eighty (40 raw cow milk producers and 40 Wagashi-Cheese producers) were randomly selected for the survey. Six (3 milk producers and 3 Wagashi –Cheese producers) were purposively sampled for the experimental part. Microbial analysis of the milk and Wagashi-Cheese were carried out using the ISO and NMKL Analytical Standard procedures. Findings from the study revealed that milk and Wagashi-Cheese producers do not practice optimal personal, food and environmental hygiene. Coliform, fecal coliform, Escherichia coli, Total mesophilic (PCA), yeast and mould were identified in both the milk and Wagashi-Cheese. Dirty cow teat, unclean containers for receiving milk and improper handling of milk while transporting to Wagashi-Cheese centers were identified as Critical Control Points along the production line of Wagash-Cheese. Post interventions showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) reduction in microbial levels in the samples analyzed. In conclusion, the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) improved the quality of the final product. HACCP education and training for milk and Wagashi-Cheese producers is highly recommended. In conclusion, there is a significant difference (P ≥ 0.05) in the microbial load of wagashi from the selected producers and thus the alternate hypothesis that there is no significant difference in the microbial loads of wagashi from different producers.
- Bella DongEditorial Assistant