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J Trop Pediatr. 1989 Feb;35(1):14-8.

The bacterial content of infant weaning foods and water in rural northern Thailand.


Samples of weaning food and supplementary water were collected for analysis of bacterial content from among a random sample of 65 infants under the age of 1 year living in a rural area of northern Thailand. Using geometric means, mean total bacterial count of infant's drinking water was 351 organisms/ml (95 per cent CIs 170-770), and the most probable number (MPN) of faecal coliforms/ml was 47 (95 per cent CIs 19-78). Mean total bacterial count of weaning foods was 38,000 (95 per cent CIs 25,000-59,000) organisms/g with 10 per cent recording counts greater than 1,000,000 organisms/g. Bacterial counts were similar to those reported in weaning food and water in other developing countries, and were above internationally recommended 'safe' levels. The bacterial count of water was not affected by boiling, due to poor cleaning and frequent re-use of utensils. Weaning foods were contaminated during preparation, in part through premastication and also via mode of cleaning of utensils.

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