Yogurt has deep roots in Ethiopia, particularly for pastoral communities, and now its handling is facing deep scrutiny from a research team at Addis Ababa University (AAU). Led by Dr. Kebede Amenu, the team is using bacterial counts to compare the safety of yogurt stored in aluminum containers versus traditional yogurt containers that women treat with a smoking process for sanitation. The team carried out a lab-based experiment to assess the effect of smoking of containers using different tree species on the microbial load of milk and yogurt kept in smoked containers. Building its case, the milk safety project collected milk and feces from 217 cows and camels in May and completed microbiological analysis for E.coli O157 and Salmonella. Comparing the results of this analysis to that on microbes present in the containers will help to determine the efficiency of the sanitation process. Ultimately, Dr. Amenu hopes to improve the sanitation of dairy products in remote parts of Ethiopia. The project, as summarized in this blog post, supports women and families to overcome food insecurity. It also funds three master’s students.
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