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Fish is an extremely perishable food item and requires preservation for future use. Several methods including drying, are used round the world for preserving fish and to extend its shelf-life. The microbial quality of sun-dried fish locally called “soudamouka” was investigated. Commercially available “soudamouka” samples were collected from retailers within the Far North region of Cameroon. Three different retailers (S1, S2 and S3) were sampled, then, the collected samples were screened for their microbial load. The highest level of Escherichia coli (62.104 cfu.g-1) was recorded in S3 soudamouka sample while the lowest count (5.102 cfu.g-1) was obtained in S1 soudamouka. The fungal load varied from 0, 1.102 to 5.102 cfu.g-1 while the C. perfringens load for different samples were found to be S1 = 16.104 cfu.g-1, S2 = 20.104 cfu.g-1 and S3 = 55.10 4cfu.g-1. These high microbial loads and presence of pathogens could be attributed to the poor handling practices and storage temperature by retailers. Although, drying may reduce water activity and consequently microbial load, post processing contamination may occur during post handling and transportation of processed fish to the sale points.
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