Microbiological quality of milk and associated factors among milk handlers in kenshunga sub county, kiruhura district, Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
Background: The secondary causes of microbial contamination occur along the milk value chain during milking, handling, use of unsanitary utensils or milking equipment and water supplies used in milking process. Farm milk handling practices that exist promote spread of milk related illness and cause disease to be part of everyday life. In Uganda, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries mandates farmers and local authorities to ensure quality milk production from the point of milking up to last consumption point. However, the districts and urban authorities are unable to ensure adherence to this due to resource constraints. The quality of milk provided by the farmers is therefore unknown. Objective: This study was to assess the microbiological quality of milk and associated factors among milk handlers in Kenshunga sub county, Kiruhura District so as to identify effective interventions on good milk handling practices. Methodology: This was cross-sectional study conducted among a multistage random sample of 222 Farm households and 50 milk samples Kenshunga Sub county – Kiruhura. Data was collected using an interviewer administered questionnaires developed in Epi collect 5 and laboratory investigation. An observational check list was used to collect quantitative data on contamination risks of milk which was analyzed using a master data sheet. Data collected using Epi collect 5 was transferred to Epi data version 20 (2011) for analysis. Results: More than a half 96% (213/222) were male with average age of 30 years. A half of the participants 50% (111/222) had not completed any level of education. Results showed that; majority of the farms 70% (155/222) carried out milking process in unhygienic environments (kraals). More than three quarters of the total participants 80% (178/222) of the milk handlers used metallic buckets for milking. Major source of water used during milking was dams (85%) for both cleaning of milking utensils and hand washing. A total of 182 participants did not practice hand washing during milking. A total of 50 milk samples were assessed for microbial contamination by using total plate count (TPC) and coliform plate count (CPC). A total of 18 out of 50 samples formed colonies after incubation at 370 C while total bacteria count ranged from 1.9X104 - 3.6X104 meaning that a count of 1.9X104 or 19,000cfu/ml Conclusion: The unhygienic practices observed during milking at the farm affects quality of the milk along the dairy value chain contributing to microbial contamination of milk. Presence of bacterial coliforms in milk is of public health significance due to environmental factors. It is recommended that extension services be provided to milk handlers in farms on proper hygiene and milking practices for quality milk production. Public health education should be given to all stakeholders in dairy industry on handling of milk to curtail the likely losses due to rejection of poor quality resulting from contamination.