Microbiological quality of soft serve ice cream sold in Makerere University, Kikoni and Wandegeya
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Dairy ice cream is a frozen milk product made from pasteurized dairy ice cream mix by a process of incorporation of air followed by the optimal addition of dairy chocolate, fruits, nuts or confections. It is a popular food item consumed by all age groups. This study was conducted to evaluate the microbial quality of soft-serve ice cream and assess its safety and suitability for human consumption. Three ice cream samples in flavors of Vanilla, strawberry and a blend of both flavors were randomly collected from each selected parlour in Kikoni, Wandegeya and Makerere University. The samples were analysed for Total Plate Count (CFU/g), Total Coliforms count (CFU/g), Yeasts and Moulds count (CFU/g) and detection of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Total Plate count of all samples ranged from 1.04 x 104 CFU/g to 4.24 x 107 CFU/g. The study indicated that all samples showed positive growth of Total coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus and Yeasts & Moulds. Sixty-seven per cent (67%) of the ice cream samples were contaminated by Escherichia coli. None of the samples conformed to the Uganda Standard-Dairy ice cream specification and this indicates the lack of maintenance of hygienic conditions during preparation, preservation or serving ice cream. The presence of potential pathogens in the ice cream samples shows the need to implement quality control measures during processing, preservation and selling of ice creams so as to reduce the public health hazards.