Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 3 No. 2

Profile and Knowledge of Food Hygiene and Safety of Food Handlers in a University Campus

I.A. Joshua, S.K. Musa, A. Otu, M. Andrew and M.S. Abubakar

University Health Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

Received on 24 January 2009 and accepted on 06 March 2009

 

ABSTRACT

Food handlers constitute an important factor in food borne diseases and their improper handling of food and non-observance of food hygiene may result in food contamination and its attendant consequences. This study was designed to elicit the socio-demographic and professional characteristics, and basic knowledge on food hygiene of food handlers working in food establishments in Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru Zaria. A descriptive, cross sectional study was carried out between 1st June and 1st October, 2008.Out of the total 130 food handlers operating in the 18 food establishments on the campus, 109 randomly selected respondents were interviewed using structured questionnaires administered during the investigation. Majority were female (83%), 68% were within the age brackets of 14-45years; 60%were Muslim; and Hausa 50%. Forty eight (44%) out of the 109 food handlers had no formal education. Only 27 % had pre-placement and in-service medical examination; 6 % had ever attended training on food hygiene since employed. The study also revealed a poor knowledge (mean score of 3.54) of food hygiene and safety, and this is statistically related to the educational attainment of the food handlers (p < 0.05). It is recommended that a massive health education campaign be directed at both the public and food handlers be embarked on, to enable people take necessary steps to prevent food borne diseases.

Keywords : Socio-demographic Characteristics, Food handlers, Food hygiene, Food safety, University Campus