An Assessment of the Bacteriological Quality of Tsire-Suya (Grilled Beef) sold in Awka, Nigeria

Onuorah Samuel Obika Ifeanyi, Odibo Frederick, Orji Michael


Tsire-Suya is a spicy, popular, ready-to-eat, boneless, beef product that is stacked on slender wooden sticks and cooked by roasting using a glowing fire from charcoal. It has high nutritive value, hence bacteria could easily grow on it, leading to its spoilage with the resultant economic losses and adverse health effects. The aim of this work was therefore to assess the bacteriological quality of tsire-suya sold in Awka, Nigeria with a view to determining its suitability for human consumption. Materials and Method: The total viable counts, total coliform counts and faecal coliform counts were determined using standard methods. The bacterial species were characterized and identified on the basis of their colonial and biochemical characteristics. Results: The total viable counts were between 0.9 x 104 and 1.5 x 104 cfu/g, total coliform counts between 0.5 x 104 and 1.0 x 104 cfu/g and while the faecal coliform counts ranged between 0.1 x 104 and 0.5 x 104cfu/g. The bacterial species isolated were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Klebsiella aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pyogenes. Escherichia coli was most frequently isolated (34.3%) while Streptococcus pyogenes had the least percentage distribution (8.6%). Discussion: The coliforms exceeded the maximum permissible limit indicating that the suya meat examined poses a serious food safety risk. These bacteria have been known to cause diseases of humans leading to fatal consequences if left untreated. Conclusion: Hygienic processing under healthy environments, proper handling and preservation will reduce the occurrence of the bacteria in the meat product thereby safeguarding the health of the consuming public.

Keyword: Assessment, Bacteriological, Quality, Tsire-Suya, Awka, Nigeria

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