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Microbial contamination of food and water is a major source of illness. Severe contamination is generally linked to contaminated water, but transmission could occur through contaminated foods served by the street vendors and restaurants. Owing to rapid urban population growth, many people live in conditions of extreme poverty and poor sanitation. This has also seen to aggravate food safety problems. Globally, deaths due to food borne illness mounts to 1.8 million, to which, a significant number is contributed by India. This study aims to assess the quality of street food in terms of microbial contamination in Chennai. Seven popular street foods were selected in the city for the study and various samples were collected from the locations famous for those foods. These samples were tested on parameters such as TBC (Total Bacterial Count), TCC (Total Coliform Count), Y&M (Yeast and Mould), E.COLI (Escherichia Coli), BACILLUS CEREUS, SALMONELLA and STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS accordingly. After microbial testing, it was noted that street foods contain pathogenic microorganisms at alarmingly high amount. Thus, from this study, it can be observed that programs on hygienic methods of preparation are the need of the hour for the vendors who prepare food for millions of hungry customers.Â
Keywords: Microbial contamination, Food borne diseases, hygiene, Street Vendors.
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