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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-55

Food hygiene and safety practices of mobile food vendors in Benin City, Nigeria


Department of Community Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Alphonsus Rukevwe Isara
Department of Community Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, PMB 1154, Benin City
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/summ.summ_36_17

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Background: There is growing evidence that the consumption of street foods is increasingly cutting across people of all socioeconomic groups in many countries of the world. This study was conducted to assess the food hygiene and safety practices of mobile food vendors in Benin City, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among mobile food vendors in Benin City, Nigeria. A structured, pretested, interviewer-administered questionnaire and an observational checklist were the data collection tools. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 20.0 software. Results: Two hundred and fifty respondents with a mean age of 31.7 ± 8.7 years were studied. There were 24 (9.6%) males and 226 (90.4%) females. Most of them knew regular handwashing practices with soap and water (95.5%), proper covering of stored food (92.8%), proper cleaning of cutting/sale surfaces (89.6%), and storage of food at appropriate temperature (79.6%). Forty-seven (18.8%) respondents kept long finger nails and 58 (23.2%) blew air into the cellophane. Handwashing before and after serving food was practiced by 115 (46.0%) respondents, 14 (5.6%) used hand gloves while serving food, 143 (57.3%) properly covered their hair, and 205 (82.0%) concurrently served food and collected money from consumers. The utensils used in serving food were considered clean in majority (217 [86.8%]) of the food vendors. Conclusion: There was a high level of knowledge of food hygiene among the mobile food vendors but their food safety practices were poor. This finding suggests that the street foods sold in Benin City may be heavily contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms.


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