Daucus carota (Carrot) is a common vegetable often consumed for its enormous nutritional benefits but without thoughts of its possible contamination with disease causing microorganisms. The different parts namely eyes, between buds, leaf stump and body of Daucus carota obtained from different spots in Owerri were analyzed using standard microbiological and parasitological methods. The mean heterotrophic bacteria count ranges from 1.28 x 109 cfu/g in between buds to > 1010 cfu/g in the leaf stump. Mean coliform count ranges from 1.55 x 107 in the body to > 1010 in the eyes, leaf stump and between buds. The mean fungal count was 1.54 x 107 in the body and > 1010 cfu/g in the leaf stump and between buds. There was no significant difference at P = 0.05 in mean microbial counts in the different parts of Daucus carota and from the different sampling spots. Organisms isolated include spp of Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Micrococcus, Serratia, Escherichia, Enterococcus, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Saccharomyces, Geotrichium, Mucor, and Aspergillus. Geohelminthes detected include Ascaris lumbricoides, Hookworms and Strongyliodes stercoralis. The level of contamination of the carrots calls for urgent need to create awareness on proper hygiene practices, GMP and HACCP application.
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