Adam M. Mustafa | Jerard Aeriko I. Cabritit | John Jacen D. Del Mundo | Juan Paulo T. Benitez | Louie Ian B. Mariano
The numerous recorded waterborne cases in and out of Bataan urged the study to determine the total viable count (TVC) of E. coli and coliforms in selected drinks served in the five canteen concessionaires of a school in Bataan. As noted, such tests may serve as an index for the safety and quality of the drinks. A total of five samples were collected and properly preserved to be then analyzed at a regional Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of the Philippines. The total coliform count of the samples ranged from being an estimated of less than 10 up to 1.8x103 total coliform colonies per 100 ml while E. coli counts ranged from an estimated of less than 10 up to an estimated less than 2.5x102 colonies per 100 ml. All the sampled drinks possessed both total coliform counts and E. coli counts that failed to meet the standards set by the Department of Health of the Philippines and were labeled as non-compliant. In this regard, there is an evident E. coli contamination across the canteens of the tested school, while there was no clear cause of contamination. It is speculated that unsanitary handling, contaminated ice, or environmental factors might have affected the samples. If left unchecked, this contamination may lead to a potential health hazard to the students, notably in the case of a diarrheal outbreak. Thus, it is suggested that the school takes precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the students and prevent any future risks.