Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 7 No. 4

Association of Levels of Hygienic Practices and Microbiological Quality on Food Handlers Hands in Hulu Langat District, Malaysia

S.L. Tan1, H.Y. Lee2, F. Abu Bakar2, M.S. Abdul Karim1 and N.A. Mahyudin1*

1Department of Food Service and Management, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. 2Food Safety Research Centre (FOSREC), Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

Received on 16 January 2013 and accepted on 01 March 2013

 

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate the potential relationship between the levels of hand hygienic practices of 85 food handlers from primary schools in Hulu Langat district, Malaysia and the hygienic status of their hands. The levels of hand hygienic practices among the food handlers were evaluated through questionnaires whereas the hygienic status of their hands was examined by using Aerobic Plate Count (APC), Escherichia coli (E. coli)/Coliform and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) counts. Swab samples on the food handlers? hands were collected at three intervals; before, during and after, the food preparation. Overall, the significant models (p = 0.05) for the multiple regression analysis were APC before preparation of ready-to-eat foods (p = 0.010), APC after preparation of RTE foods (p = 0.029) and S. aureus during preparation of RTE foods (p = 0.009). Hand hygiene risk factors that influenced the bacterial counts on the food handlers? hands for the three intervals of RTE foods preparation were food poisoning knowledge, hand hygiene attitudes, hand washing practices, contamination prevention and glove use practices. Hence, attention should be focus on hand hygiene especially the aspects of practices among the food handlers from primary schools in Hulu Langat district.

Keywords : Cross-contamination, Food Poisoning Knowledge, Glove use, Hand Hygiene attitudes, Hand washing, Personal hygiene.