Skip to main content

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.

Locations

Improving food hygiene in Africa where vegetables are irrigated with polluted water : paper prepared for the West Africa Regional Sanitation and Hygiene Symposium, 10-12 Nov 2009, Accra, Ghana

Due to inappropriate and inadequate urban sanitation infrastructure in Ghana wastewater from households and other facilities ends up in nearby water bodies, which are often used as sources of irrigation water. However, this practice could have adverse public health and environmental effects, especially because untreated wastewater has high population of pathogenic organisms. The purpose of this study was to determine the current level of exposure of the Ghanaian local population to faecal coliform (FC) through the consumption of wastewater irrigated vegetables and to analyse and improve the effectiveness of common washing methods for the reduction of faecal microorganism populations on the surface of wastewater-irrigated vegetables. The levels of pathogen on market vegetables produced with wastewater were determined. Questionnaire interviews were also used to gather information on common methods used for washing vegetables in 11 cities in West Africa. The efficacy of the common decontamination methods was measured in terms of log reductions in FC populations on homogenised contaminated vegetable samples. High FC and helminth eggs contamination levels exceeding common guidelines for food quality were recorded on the market vegetables.Methods used to wash vegetables vary widely within and between Ghana and neighbouring francophone West African (WA) countries. However, several of the most common methods do not reduce the contamination to any desirable level. Significantly, different log reductions are achieved depending on the washing method and contact time.Tests to improve the apparent ineffective methods were especially promising in view of the relatively expensive vinegar. However, up to 3 log units reduction is also possible at a much lower price with ‘Eau de Javel’ (bleach), which is commonly used in francophone WA. Washing vegetables before consumption is important for health risk reduction. However, any washing method will need complementary efforts to reduce pathogen contamination.

(authors abstract)

TitleImproving food hygiene in Africa where vegetables are irrigated with polluted water : paper prepared for the West Africa Regional Sanitation and Hygiene Symposium, 10-12 Nov 2009, Accra, Ghana
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAmoah, P, Drechsel, P, Abaidoo, RC, Abraham, EM
Pagination9 p.; 18 refs.; 2 tab.; 1 fig.
Date Published2009-11-10
PublisherS.n.
Place PublishedS.l.
Keywordsafrica, food hygiene, garden watering, water, water pollution, water quality, water reuse, water use
Abstract

Due to inappropriate and inadequate urban sanitation infrastructure in Ghana wastewater from households and other facilities ends up in nearby water bodies, which are often used as sources of irrigation water. However, this practice could have adverse public health and environmental effects, especially because untreated wastewater has high population of pathogenic organisms. The purpose of this study was to determine the current level of exposure of the Ghanaian local population to faecal coliform (FC) through the consumption of wastewater irrigated vegetables and to analyse and improve the effectiveness of common washing methods for the reduction of faecal microorganism populations on the surface of wastewater-irrigated vegetables. The levels of pathogen on market vegetables produced with wastewater were determined. Questionnaire interviews were also used to gather information on common methods used for washing vegetables in 11 cities in West Africa. The efficacy of the common decontamination methods was measured in terms of log reductions in FC populations on homogenised contaminated vegetable samples. High FC and helminth eggs contamination levels exceeding common guidelines for food quality were recorded on the market vegetables.Methods used to wash vegetables vary widely within and between Ghana and neighbouring francophone West African (WA) countries. However, several of the most common methods do not reduce the contamination to any desirable level. Significantly, different log reductions are achieved depending on the washing method and contact time.Tests to improve the apparent ineffective methods were especially promising in view of the relatively expensive vinegar. However, up to 3 log units reduction is also possible at a much lower price with ‘Eau de Javel’ (bleach), which is commonly used in francophone WA. Washing vegetables before consumption is important for health risk reduction. However, any washing method will need complementary efforts to reduce pathogen contamination.

(authors abstract)

Custom 1112, 112.1

Useful links

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.