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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-196

Food hygiene practices of food vendors in secondary schools in Ilorin

Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O I Musa
Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Ilorin, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This descriptive study was carried out to determine food safety practices among food Vendors in secondary schools in Ilorin. Pre-tested questionnaire and observational checklist were administered to 185 respondents recruited using inclusion and exclusion criteria. One hundred and eighty-two (98.4%) of the subjects were females and only 6(3%) were teenagers. One hundred and two (56.8%) had no formal education while 72(39% had received training on food hygiene. Pre-employment medical examination practice was high 141(76%) but periodic medical examination was low 30(16%). Sixty-one (33%) and seventy-two(39%) respondents prepared food well in advance and reheat food before sale respectively. Vendors who prepared food well in advance (over 4 hours) were found to practise food re-heating more than those who prepared food within 4 hours before sale, and this is statistically significant. The major unhygienic practices observed among the food vendors were poor care of used utensils 100(54%), use of previously used water for washing and cleaning, lack of covering apron among the vendors 128(69%) and lack of wash hand basin for immediate cleaning 61(33%). Only 85(46%) of the respondents used soap and water to clean their utensils while the rest 100(54%) used unhygienic methods to clean their utensils. It was observed that respondents who used soap and water for cleaning, vended food at locations that were relatively closer to water source, compared to other vendors who used other methods to clean their utensils. This is also statistically significant. Unkempt fingernails, skin lesions and poor food protection from flies were some of the food contaminating risk factors observed in the study. The need exists for food vendors and other food handlers to be trained on basic principles of safe food handling.

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