The microbial load of fresh and smoke-dried fish marketed in Yenagoa metropolis was evaluated. The samples were three fish types: Clarias angularis, Channa obscura andChrysicthtys auratus from Tombia and Swali markets were analysed. The bacterial counts for fresh fish samples ranged from 4.0 x 108 - 2.30 x 1010 cfu/g while fungal counts ranged from 1.8 x 104 - 7.0 x 104 cfu/g. Bacterial and fungal counts for smoked fish were lower, ranging from 1.8 x 104 - 2.5 x 108 cfu/g and 1.0 x 104 - 4.0 x 105 cfu/g respectively. Twelve (12) bacterial isolates were obtained from fresh fish samples and 13 isolates from smoked fish. The isolated bacteria belonged to the genera Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium, Lactobacillus and Klebsiella. Bacillus was the most predominant with a frequency of occurrence of 50 and 58.8% for fresh fish and smoked fish respectively. The fungi isolates belonged to Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Penicillium, Saccharomyces and Fusarium species. The most predominant fungi were Aspergillus spp and Penicillium spp which constituted 23.0 and 15.4% for fresh fish and smoked fish respectively.
Key words: Fish, Microflora, smoke-dried fish.
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