Open Access Peer-reviewed

Infant Mortality in Nigeria: Assessing Knowledge of Predisposing Risk Factors among Mothers and Bacteriological Profile of the Weaning Foods

Ossai Ochonogor Samuel
Department of Vocational Education (Home Economics Units), Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2013, 1(3), 22-26. DOI: 10.12691/ajfn-1-3-1
Published online: August 25, 2017


A survey was conducted to evaluate the risk factors for persistent diarrhea and to ascertain the bacteriological profile of weaning foods given to less than 2 years of age children in Nigeria. Thirty nursing mothers were selected for the study and nine weaning foods sampled. Low education, unhygienic practices and poor knowledge about basic food safety issues were responsible for gross weaning foods contamination and frequent diarrheal episodes. All the examined weaning foods were contaminated with more than two bacterial species. Eight bacterial species namely E. coli, Klebsiella sp., Enterococcus sp., Bacillus sp., Pseudomonas sp., Staphylococcus sp., Micrococcus sp., Proteus sp., Citrobacter sp., were isolated. Staphylococcus sp. were isolated. The average bacterial load ranged from 2.2 x 104 to 3.7 x 106.cfu/g. Staphylococcus sp., was the most frequent isolates followed by Bacillus sp., E.coli and Micrococcus sp., while Citrobacter sp. and Klebsiella sp., were the least frequent isolates. Only two weaning foods; rice and yam/oil had bacterial count within the acceptable limit of less than or equal to 4 log10 cfu/g while three weaning foods; yam/oil, rice and noodles had Enterobacteriaceae count less than or equal to 3.0 log10 cfu g-1. Food safety education of the target population and enforcement of existing laws on environmental sanitation and hygiene as a basic preventive strategy is hereby recommended.


infant mortality, weaning foods, bacterial contamination, food safety education
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