The University’s 38th Inaugural Lecturer, Professor (Mrs.) Mobolaji Olufunmilayo Bankole has raised the alarm that most Nigerians are eating bacteria and fungi (poison) especially staphylococcus aureas thinking they are eating food.

According to her most common in their food intake is staphylococcus Aureas.

Bankole, a Professor of Food Microbiology, Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences (COLNAS) alerted the nation while delivering a lecture titled, “Food on the Table: The Microbial Contributions”.

According to Professor Bankole, “Food consumed by human beings are rarely sterile as they harbour micro-organisms which may originate from the natural microflora of the raw material, and those organisms introduced in the course of harvesting, slaughter, processing, storage and distribution of food”.

Drawing from her research contributions to the academic and society at large, the erudite scholar said most of Nigerians favourite local food and snacks are bacteria reddened.

They include Bread, Smoked Fish, Pounded Yam, “Amala-Isu”, Vegetables and even Spices that are use to garnish and preserve snacks.


According to the Inaugural Lecturer, bread samples from some industries in Abeokuta “were found to harbour some pathogenic microorganisms which included the following bacterial: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus epidermidis, streptococcus pyogenes, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Klebsiella pneumonia” and fungi like Aspergillus niger”, she added.

She explained that most of these microbias were contaminant from handling practices.


Professor (Mrs.) Bankole informed that Pounded Yam, a special delicacy of the Yorubas in South-West Nigeria, and in particular, the Ekitis and the Ijeshas harbours the following bacteria: Bacillus sp Pseudomona sp, Streptococcoccus sp, Erwinia sp, Serratia sp, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureaus, among several others that she listed.

The University Don revealed that Pounded Yam is contaminated through soil origin, yam tuber, and human origin.


The Professor of Microbiology informed that another Yoruba favourite local food, Yam Flour, better known and celebrated as “Amala Isu” harboured microorganisms with white Yam Flour “Amala Lafun” harbouring more types of microorganisms”.


According to the Inaugural Lecturer, cold smoked fish examined showed the presence of Bacillus sp, Micrococcus sp, Staphylococus aureaus, Staphblococcus epidermis and others which are of bacteria origin. She disclosed that some of these bacterial floral are from the broodstock of intensive fish farming systems.

She stressed that apart from Ginger and Negro-pepper, the others did not harbour staphylococcus aureaus.

Besides, the lecturer further informed that popular local drinks including “Adoyo”, “Pito”, “Nunu” carried Lactic acid bacteria and others.

She disclosed that major sources of contamination of sampled food were “probably man, water and air”.

However, Professor (Mrs.) Bankole expressed joy that the bacteria content of the foods could be decreased if:

People are aware and conscious of the presence and harmfulness of microbe,

Processors to prepare, their foods with as little contamination as possible with healthy hands, and using uncontaminated water in a clean area of preparation.

Optimization of shelf life of raw materials, Quality control, among others, are embraced

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole while presenting the Profile of the Inaugural Lecturer highlighted her track record as a tested and proven lecturer.

Present are, relations of the Inaugural Lecture, members of the University Community, especially Principal Officers, her Dean, Professor Tope Popoola and several others.


Professor (Mrs.) Bankole disclosed that though Nigerians love spices, they harbour high total viable bacteria count per gram.