EVALUATION OF BACTERIAL QUALITY AND PREVALENCE OF ENTERIC PATHOGEN IN THE STREET-VENDED PANIPURI AND CHANACHATPAT IN KATHMANDU DISTRICT
Panipuri and Chanachatpat are the most widely consumed, easily available and affordable street foods in Kathmandu district. The lack of understanding among vendors about food hygiene, handling practices and source of bacterial contamination has subjected the general public to enteric bacterial pathogens transmitted through these foods. This study aimed to examine the bacterial quality and prevalence of enteric bacterial pathogen that can lead to serious public health illness. Seventeen samples each of Panipuri and Chanachatpat were collected for examination through convenient random sampling. Isolation, enumeration and identification of four major groups of bacteria viz. Coliform, Thermotolerant E.coli, Staphylococci and Salmonella spp were carried out by pour-plating method, microscopy and biochemical tests. As per the ICMSF standard, 94.12%, 29.41% and 94.12% of Panipuri samples were found to have high levels of Coliform count, Thermotolerant E.coli and Staphylococci count, respectively. Similarly, 94.12%, 17.65% and 94.12% of Chanachatpat samples were found to have high levels of Coliform count, Thermotolerant E.coli and Staphylococci count. Likewise, 11.76% and 17.64% of Panipuri and Chanachatpat, respectively were found to contain Salmonella spp pathogen. High level of Coliform count and Staphylococcai count indicated unsatisfactory standard of bacterial quality and the presence of Thermotolerant E. coli clearly indicated faecal contamination in them. The presence of Salmonella spp pathogen clearly indicates that street foods are hazardous to public health.