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INTRODUCTION Food and water in particular have been described as vehicles for the transmission of microbial diseases, among which are those caused by coliforms (1). Coliforms are Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming aerobes and facultative anaerobes that ferment lactose to produce acid and gas within 48 hours at 35[degrees]C. They are generally recognized as the normal flora of the intestine of humans and animals, although some coliforms, including Salmonellae, Shigellae, and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, are notable enteric pathogens. The presence of coliforms in food and water would, therefore, generally connote faecal contamination, resulting in the risk of exposure to pathogens that cause gastrointestinal diseases, such as diarrhoea and typhoid fever. Poor environmental sanitation is largely responsible for much of the contamination, and poor personal hygiene, particularly among food handlers, accounts specifically for the contamination of foods while improper storage leads to multiplication of pathogens in food to infective doses. In the resource-poor tropical countries of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, foods are often preserved at ambient temperatures long before consumption, improperly handled by food vendors, and sold in streets in the dirty unhygienic environment (2-6). Most vendors have limited education and, therefore, lack knowledge on proper handling of the food and on the effects of improper handling with reference to transmission of foodborne pathogens.