Evaluation of food hygiene knowledge attitudes and practices of food handlers in food businesses in Accra, Ghana
Posted: November 3rd, 2011 - 6:35pm
Source: Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol.2, No.8
Food handlers have a prime role to play in food businesses, and that is to guarantee that meals served are hygienic for consumption. Conscious or inadvertent contamination of such food places consumers at risk of suffering from food- borne illnesses. For this reason the study was carried out to document the food hygiene knowledge, attitudes and practices of some food handlers, in food businesses in Accra, Ghana and also to determine the microbiological load of the foods sold by the food businesses. The study targeted food handlers in the hotel industry. The study involved a field survey, followed by a laboratory assessment of microbiological status of food samples obtained from the sampled hotels. Cross tabulations and chi – squared tests (5% significance level) as well as frequency distributions were used to analyze the data obtained from the field survey. Data obtained from the laboratory assessment were also compared to standard values of microbiological counts. Majority of respondents were between the ages of 30 - 40 years (42.9%) with tertiary or post secondary education. Food hygiene knowledge and attitudes were satisfactory, however its practice was challenging. Gender, age and educational level of respondents did not influence their food hygiene practices. Microbial counts of all food samples was generally high ranging from 1.2 × 105 CFU/g to 1.1 × 108 CFU /g. The total coliform counts of foods ranged from 1.0 × 104 CFU/g to 5.0 × 106 CFU/g, and these were obtained from three out of the five hotel kitchens sampled. The study concluded that, the food hygiene knowledge and attitudes of the food handlers did not result in efficient food hygiene practices.
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