Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 9 No. Special Edition May. 2015

Food Safety Perception and Practices among University Students in Jordan

Hamed M. Alzoubi1, Munir A. Abu-Helalah2*, Ahmad Y. Al-Zu’bi3, Oday Z. Al-Ma’aitah4, Tariq A. Dalbah4, Hussam A. Alshraideh5 and Amin A. Aqel6

1Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mu’tah University, Karak, Jordan. 2Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Mu’tah University, Karak, Jordan. 3Sixth-year medical student, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. 4General Physicians, Ministry of Health, Jordan. 5ssistant Professor of Operational Research and Statistics, Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. 6Associate Professor of Microbiology, Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mu’tah University, Karak, Jordan.

Received on 22 March 2015 and accepted on 08 May 2015

 

ABSTRACT

Food-borne illnesses represent a major public health problem. Published research on food safety among university students shows that this group has limited knowledge in this field. The study assessed eating behavior and Food safety knowledge and practice among university students in Jordan. This cross-sectional study was based on a questionnaire that was completed by 1, 161 students from three major universities in Jordan. The mean number of times per week in which students ate or bought food from restaurants was 3.69 ± 3.0 SD. The most common factors that students considered when easting in a restaurant were hygiene (82.7%), followed by the price (9.0%), and closeness to living place (7.7%). Only 51.5% of participants reported that the restaurant workers always/often wear gloves when preparing their meals. Overall, 53.7% (n = 637) of students reported having at least one symptom after eating food in a restaurant, however only 4.1% of our sample reported these incidences to the authorities. Significant differences in food safety knowledge and practices exist between students. There is a need to increase university students’ knowledge on food safety and to improve their awareness of the importance of reporting food poisoning symptoms.

Keywords : Food poisoning, University, students, Jordan.