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ARTICLE
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-96

An assessment of food hygiene among food handlers in a Nigerian university campus


Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O H Okojie
Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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INTRODUCTION: Food handlers play a major role in ensuring food safety throughout the chain of producing, processing, storage and preparation. Mishandling and disregard for hygiene measures on their part may result in food contamination and its attendant consequences. OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the knowledge and practice of food hygiene by food handlers in a Nigerian University Campus. METHODOLOGY: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out on randomly selected food handlers operating on the campus. A total of 102 respondents were interviewed and inspected using a structural questionnaire administered by researchers. RESULTS: Ninety (88.2%) of the respondents were female, and there was a predominantly poor level knowledge of food hygiene. The practice of storing and reheating leftovers was low and agreed to by 15 (14.7%) of the respondents; there was a very low frequency of hand washing. Inspection of food handlers showed a low level of personal hygiene. Only 31 (30.4%) had had pre employment medical examination and only 49 (48%) had received any form of health education. CONCLUSION: This study has revealed a poor knowledge and practice of food hygiene among food handlers providing food for undergraduates in a Nigerian University. It is recommended that a massive health education campaign directed at both the public and food handlers be embarked on, to enable people take necessary steps to prevent food borne diseases.


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