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This study assessed the bacterial quality of fresh fruit juices sold in some restaurants in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A total of twenty (20) fruit juice samples were collected from four (4) different types of fruit juices sold at four (4) different restaurants. The fruits that were used for this study are: Orange, Watermelon, Pineapple and Tiger nuts. Samples of the fruit juices were collected for bacteriological assessment using heterotrophic plate count and most probable number techniques, while CHRO Magar for E. coli and other coliforms was used for the detection of E. coli. The results showed that E. coli, Bacillus spp, Klebsiella spp, Streptococcus spp and Staphylococcus spp were present in the fruit juices. The results of the heterotrophic plate count showed that the bacterial count ranged from 2.7 x 102 (Orange) to 7.1 x 103 (Tiger nuts), while the results of the total coliform count ranged from 11 MPN/100 ml to 28 MPN/100 ml. However, the study revealed that the total E. coli count ranged from 0 to 7. The number of E. coli in each of the fruit juices and restaurants ranged from 6 to 13, Bacillus spp 12 to 19, Klebsiella spp 4 to 10, Streptococcus spp 6 to 11 and Staphylococcus spp 4 to 13. Bacillus spp had the highest percentage (31.4%), followed by Staphylococcus spp (20.1%). The highest percentage of bacteria was recovered from Tiger nuts (29.4%), followed by Watermelon (28.4%). Regular monitoring of the quality of fresh fruit juices sold in restaurants in Port Harcourt and other parts of Nigeria should therefore be enforced.
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