Microbiological quality of water processed and bottled in Zimbabwe

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Journal: Afr J Health Sci 2007/02/15
Published: 2002
Authors: Okagbue, R. N.;Dlamini, N. R.;Siwela, M.;Mpofu, F.
Address: Department of Applied Biology and Biochemistry, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), P.O. Box AC 939 Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

A total of sixty samples of bottled water processed in Zimbabwe by three companies, were analysed microbiologically, to assess the relative safety of locally processed bottled water. The samples were from different batches and from different storage conditions and the analyses were for total viable counts and coliforms. Four (6.7%) and seven (11.7%) samples were found to exceed the recommended maximum total viable and coliform counts, respectively. There was a low incidence of Staphylococus aureus (3.3%), Pseudomonas species (6.7%) and Bacillus species (5%). Overall, the work shows that locally bottled water is generally safe, microbiologically, though it is necessary to continue with precautionary measures because any lapse in hygiene may lead to microbial proliferation.

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