JOEMIL E. AGUADO JR., MICHAEL JOHN F. ARO, NOEL IVAN A. LOMIGO, and HAROLD P. MEDIODIA
Philippine Science High School – Western Visayas Campus, Brgy. Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute, Philippines
Bacterial contamination in commercially sold sea cucumbers is hugely understudied in Western Visayas. The study aimed to tackle the problem of bacterial contamination in commercially sold sea cucumbers in Panobolon Island, Guimaras by determining its bacterial content. The cooked and fresh sea cucumber samples used in this study were bought from the local market and were identified as the species Holothuria scabra, a common species of sea cucumber consumed as food in Western Visayas. Bacteria was isolated from both the fresh and cooked samples and cultured directly unto the selective media. Results showed that the bacterial content in cooked samples were more compared to the fresh samples. Both types of samples contained Staphylococcus aureus, while Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were only present in cooked samples. Salmonella spp. was only present in fresh samples, while Shigella spp. was not found in any of the samples. The bacteria found in the fresh samples are known to be found in sea water and the content of the cooked samples can be attributed to the food handling of the residents.
Keywords: sea cucumbers, bacterial content, bacterial isolation, Public Health, food handling