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Introduction: Zobo is a non-alcoholic locally produced beverage from dried petals, acid-succulent calyxes of Hibiscus subdariffa by boiling and filtration. Zobo is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, calcium, vitamins, minerals, iron and antioxidant. The consumption of zobo may be associated with food infection and/ or food borne illness arising from unhygienic processes.
Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the bacterial quality of zobo sold in Bayelsa, identify the bacteria isolated and determine the enterotoxin producing ability of some strains.
Materials and Methods: A total of 150 bottles of zobo were examined, 50 were purchased from each zone (Yenagoa, Sagbama and Ogbia). Each bottle of zobo was well mixed by gentle inversion and 1mL of the zobo was added to 9mL of sterile peptone water in a test tube. Serial dilution was made to and 0.1 mL of the last dilution (105) was inoculated on already prepared and dried media (nutrient, MacConkey and salmonella/shegella agar) in duplicate and spread evenly with sterile glass rod. The plates were incubated at 37°C for 18-24 hours and examined for growth. Commercial purchased kits were used to test for enterotoxin production of some isolated strains.
Results: Out of the 150 zobo samples examined, the bacteria isolated were S. aureus 120 (25%), Coagulase negative Staphylococci sp.120 (25%), Bacillus sp. 150 (31.3%) and Salmonella sp. 90 (18%) respectively. Out of 120 S. aureus isolated, 18 (15%) produced enterotoxin.
Conclusion: Regulatory Agencies should as a matter of urgency consider the regulation of zobo production for public consumption and producers should be instructed on the principles of food preservation, sanitation and hygiene. The consumption of locally produced zobo is a public health concern in Nigeria.