Microbiological Quality Of Edible Land Snails From Selected Markets In Ghana


Background Snail meat has served as a delicacy and reliable source of protein for man over the years. Despite the increasing price of snails, there is a corresponding increase in demand worldwide. Snails are currently being exploited for other purposes than just food. Russia and Japan are amongst some of the countries that use live snail (slime) for beauty therapy. In Ghana, almost every ethnic group consumes snails. There are undocumented reports of varied uses of the snail haemolymph as a cure for ailments such as tuberculosis, whooping cough, stroke, hypertension and asthma amongst other uses. The slime on the other hand, when applied to skin with burns is said to improve skin cell regeneration as well as enhancing smoothness of skin. These consumers may have positive results for their health needs but are ignorant of the possible microbial pathogen content. The aim of the study was to assess the microbiological quality of the edible land snails. This is to draw awareness to the general public regarding the health hazards they expose themselves to in consuming the snails and their products particularly in the raw state. Method: 150 snails (75 Achatina achatina and 75 Achatina fulica) were purchased from a total of 9 markets distributed in four regions of Ghana. Bacteriological, parasitological and mycological analysis was carried out on four different specimens (haemolymph, slime, hepatopancreas and faecal matter) of the snails. Standard plate count (SPC) and enterobacteriaceae count (EC) were done. Isolation and biochemical identification of bacteria were done. For the parasitological analysis, wet and stained (centrifuged and uncentrifuged) specimens were observed microscopically at X40 magnification. Stains carried out included Giemsa, Ziehl-Neelsen, iodine and trichrome. Mycological analysis v was done by streaking specimens on Saboraud agar and subsequent nigrosin and Lactophenol cotton blue staining done for identified fungal agents. Results: Thirty-two different bacteria including Salmonella spp, Klebsiella spp, Shigella spp, Yersinia spp and Clostridium tetani were isolated. Giardia spp, Balantidium coli and trophozoites and cysts of unidentified parasites were isolated. Fungal agents isolated included Candida spp, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus spp, and Rhizopus spp. A statistically significant result was observed for the Standard Plate count and Enterobacteriaceae count with regards to the snail specimens and the markets where they were bought from, source of snail, and region of purchase. During the study, bacteria load count ranges (10²- ) obtained were within and above the levels set for most foods hence by that comparison can be inferred to be microbiologically safe. The risk therefore with the administration of the unprocessed specimens orally or otherwise is of immense public health concern bearing in mind the pathogenic microbes isolated. Conclusion: From the study, both pathogenic and non-pathogenic (including opportunistic) microbial agents were isolated from snails obtained from the Ghanaian markets. The consumption of the snails particularly their use in the raw state is not a safe practice owing to the isolation of these organisms from them.

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YAW, M (2021). Microbiological Quality Of Edible Land Snails From Selected Markets In Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/microbiological-quality-of-edible-land-snails-from-selected-markets-in-ghana

MLA 8th

YAW, MANAPHRAIM "Microbiological Quality Of Edible Land Snails From Selected Markets In Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 09 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/microbiological-quality-of-edible-land-snails-from-selected-markets-in-ghana. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.


YAW, MANAPHRAIM . "Microbiological Quality Of Edible Land Snails From Selected Markets In Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 09 Apr. 2021. Web. 19 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/microbiological-quality-of-edible-land-snails-from-selected-markets-in-ghana >.


YAW, MANAPHRAIM . "Microbiological Quality Of Edible Land Snails From Selected Markets In Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 19, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/microbiological-quality-of-edible-land-snails-from-selected-markets-in-ghana