Author(s): Raimi OR
Hard and soft dates sold in nylon were purchased from owode market in Offa, Kwara state, Nigeria. The bacteria load ranged from 4 x 105 – 19 x 105 and 10 x 105 – 20 x 105 respectively. The bacteria isolated were Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus species, Proteus mirabilis, Enterobacter species, Escherichia coli and Salmonella species. The coliform count were between 3-9 in hard date fruits and 11-23 in soft date fruit respectively. Mould count were 1.0 x 102 – 2.8 x 102 and 4.8 x 103- 7.2 x 103 while yeast count were 1.6 x 102 – 8.2 x 103 and 5 x 104- 16 x 104 respectively. All these values were above the Saudi specification. Therefore these samples cannot be recommended for human consumption. A means of preserving dates fruit from microbial contamination and spoilage should be discovered, also storing in hygienic conditions is important before selling to the populace for consumption to prevent the spread of infection and diseases.