Accepted 3rd January, 2022
Herbs are plant-derived materials used as therapeutic substa email nces or dietary supplements. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the microbial contamination of fever herbs vended in Akure motor parks. Fifty (50) samples of fever herbs were purchased from vendors in ten (10) different motor parks in Akure, South-West Nigeria. Microbial loads of the herbs were enumerated using membrane filtration method, isolation and characterization of bacteria, determined using standard microbiological methods. The results revealed that most of the samples (Idanre, Sunshine, Ilesha, Road block, Oloko and Ondo motor parks) had significantly (p<0.05) higher total bacterial counts than the recommended level of ≤ 13cfu/100ml for herbal medicine product intended for human consumption, and all the samples except herb vended at Old garage motor park conform with the set standard of 0.0 cfu/100ml coliform counts herbal medicine product. Age, level of education and job experience of the vendors as well as packaging materials contributed significantly (p<0.05) to microbial contamination of herbs. Bacteria isolated from herbs were; Salmonella thyphi, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus fermentum out of which S. aureus 10(19.23%) and L. plantarum 7(13.46%) were the most occurred. Occurrence of these bacteria in herbs could predispose consumers to the risk of infections with pathogenic bacteria. It is recommended that food scientists, health officers, extension officers and other stakeholders should play their roles of training and enforcing quality assurance through monitoring the production and distribution of herbs to safeguard consumers.
Keywords: Motor Park, fever, herb, contamination, coliform