Safety and Quality of Raw Cow Milk Collected from Producers and Consumers in Hawassa and Yirgalem areas, Southern Ethiopia

Tsedey Azeze Asrat Tera


The objective of this study was to understand the hygienic milk handling practice and determine the safety and quality of raw milk collected from producers and consumers in Hawassa and Yirgalem areas. A total of 60 producers and 40 consumers were randomly selected and interviewed for the survey in the selected districts of Hawasa Zuria and Dale. A total of 120 raw milk samples were also aseptically collected and tested for microbial analysis and chemical composition (60 samples each from producers and consumers). General Linear Model (GLM) and other statistical tools were adopted to analyze the data and summarize the information. The result showed that clay pot is the major milk storing device for producers although it is inconvenient for hygienic cleaning, harbors bacteria which causes milk spoilage and consequently imposes risk of quality deterioration. The Cooling method of raw milk for 28% of producers was using of refrigerator while for 33% of the consumers; it was by boiling and then cooling system. Fumigation was a common traditional practice in the studied districts which is mainly used for flavoring and extending the shelf life, thereby reducing spoilage. It is one of the traditional hygienic measures used on milking utensils .In the raw milk samples, the mean total bacterial count  for producers and consumers was 6.73 cfu mL-1 and 7.15 cfu mL-1, respectively. The higher total bacterial count of consumers was due to poor sanitary conditions practiced during milking and hygiene of milking utensils. The coliform count for the raw milk collected from producers was 4.00 cfu mL-1 while it was 4.29 cfu mL-1 for consumers. The higher coliform count of the consumers was due to contamination of the milk collected from different value chain actors, unhygienic milk utensils and unsafe ways of management. There was no significant difference observed in the mean values of fat, solids-not-fat (SNF), protein, lactose, density and water percent in the two study locations. Significantly lower values for fat, SNF and water percent were observed for the milk samples collected from consumers than producers. The poor handling practice, higher bacterial count and substandard quality of composition could be due to limited knowledge of producers and consumers on the improved hygienic handling practices. Therefore, regular awareness creation about quality milk production and  good handling practices should be provided for producers as well as consumers to improve the quality and the safety of the milk and also minimize consequent health risks especially on children, the sick and elderly.

Keywords: Milk handling, quality, safety, composition, producers, consumers

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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