KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE REGARDING FOOD AND PERSONAL HYGIENE AMONG RESTAURANT FOOD HANDLERS IN BAUCHI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, BAUCHI STATE

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ABSTRACT

The main purpose of the study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding food and personal hygiene among restaurant food handlers in Bauchi L.G.A., Bauchi State, Nigeria. To achieve this purpose, eighteen research questions were formulated and nine null hypotheses postulated and tested for significance at .05 level. Quantitative data were collected from 185 food handlers using knowledge, attitude and practice regarding food and personal hygiene questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed using frequency distribution percentages and means to answer the research questions while Chi-Square, ANOVA and t-Test was used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study showed that the food handlers had very high knowledge of food and personal hygiene but possessed negative attitude regarding food and personal hygiene. The findings further indicated that the food handlers practice food and personal hygiene occationally. Restaurant food handlers’ knowledge of personal,food and restaurant hygiene was not dependent on their level of eduation,there is no significant difference in the responses of food handlers’ knowledge regarding personal,food and restaurant hygiene according to age and there is no significant difference in the responses of food handlers’knowledge of personal,food and restaurant hygiene based on location. Level of education had no significant influence on food handlers’ attitude regarding food and personal hygiene, age had no significant difference in the responses of food handlers attitude regarding personal, food and restaurant hygiene and there is no significant defference in the responses of food handlers’attitude regarding personal,food and restaurant hygiene based on location.Restaurant food handlers’practices regarding personal, food and restaurant hygiene was not dependent on their level of education,there is no significant difference in the responses of food handlers’practices regarding personal,food and restaurant hygiene according to age and there is no significant difference in the responses of food handlers’practices regarding personal,food and restaurant hygiene based on location in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. It was recommended, among others, that there was need to develop a more effective means of imparting social mobilization, sensitization to food handlers and the entire community on the needs and advantages of food and personal hygiene education to a great extent.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature
Conceptual Framework
•           Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Food and Personal Hygiene among Food Handlers
•           Demographic Factors Influencing Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of
            Food and Personal Hygiene among Food Handlers
•  Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Related to Food and Personal Hygiene
Theoretical Framework
•  The Critical Knowledge Theory
•           The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA)
•           Self Efficacy Theory
Empirical Studies
Summary of Literature Review

CHAPTER THREE: Methods
Research Design
Area of Study
Population of the Study
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Instrument for Data Collection
Validity of the Instrument
Reliability of the Instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: Results and Discussion
Results
Summary of Major Findings
Discussion of Findings
Implications of the Study

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
Summary
Conclusions
Recommendations of the Study
Limitations of the Study
Recommendations for further Study
References
Appendix

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study

These past decades have witnessed the emergence of the trend of eating away from home. Many consumers eat out in restaurants, canteens, fast food outlets and street food vendors due to change of lifestyles. However, the high number of people eating out causes the emergence of food -borne illnesses arising from unhygienic preparation and lack of knowledge, attitudes and practices towards food and personal hygiene among restaurant food handlers.

Hygiene refers to practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases (Araoye, 2009). It involves regular washing of the body, washing one’s clothing, washing the hair, brushing the teeth, and caring for the gums (Ilika & Obionu, 2009). Food handlers are particularly vulnerable to the neglect of basic personal hygiene (Postma et al, 2008; Oduntain; 2008; Enahoro and Orak, 2007) .Personal hygiene, according to WHO (2006), are practices performed by individual to care for his/her personal health and well-being, through cleanliness.The WHO added that motivation for personal hygiene practices include reduction of personal illiness, optimal health and sense of well-being, social acceptance and prevention of spread of illness to others.

Harrison (2010) defined personal hygiene practices in relation to food, as proper food management and cooking to prevent food contamination. This, according to him is called food hygiene.Food hygiene, according to Flizpatrick and Kappos (2009), are those measures that aim at preventing the contamination of food processing namely, collection, preparation,transportation, storage and sale.Food hygiene refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food borne illnesses.It includes the production,processing, preparation and handling of food to ensure the safety of food.


The term food safety is increasingly being used in place of food hygiene and encompasses a whole range of issues that must be addressed for the purpose of ensuring the safety of prepared food. Food hygiene probably puts too much emphasis on cleanliness but food safety requires much more than a clean environment or premises (Food Hygiene and Safety). The high incidence of food borne illnesses has led to an increase in global concern about food hygiene (Van, 2007). Several food borne diseases outbreaks have been reported to be associated with poor personal hygiene of people handling foodstuffs.
Food borne diseases are increasing in both developed and developing countries. Diarrheal diseases, mostly caused by food borne microbial pathogens, are leading causes of illnesses and deaths in the developing countries, killing an estimated 1.9 million people annually at the global level (Schlundt, 2004).

An estimated 76 million food borne illnesses occur annually in the United States. These food borne illnesses result in estimated 325,000 hospitalization and 5000 deaths every year in the United States. The cost of the most common food borne illnesses in the United States is estimated at $6.5-$34.9 billion annually (Mead, 2004). In the past few decades, the epidemiology of food borne diseases has changed with several emerging pathogens. Some of them may pose a low risk to most individuals, but may be life threatening to others (Maizun, Mohd & Zain, 2003).

Between 1999 and 2002, an average of 1329 food borne diseases outbreaks were reported to the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) each year. Approximately 52% of these were attributed to service establishments or restaurants (Jones, 2006; Lynch, 2006). During the same period, the Oregon Public Health Division reported 62 food borne outbreaks or approximately 5% of the national total (Emilo & DeBess, 2009). Another study conducted in Malaysia also showed that approximately 10-20% of food- borne outbreaks are due to contamination by the food handlers (Zain, 2002).

Food contamination may occur at any point during its journey through production, processing, distribution, and preparation (Green, 2005; Honnessay, 2004). The risk of food getting contaminated depends largely on the health status of the food handlers, their personal hygiene, knowledge and practice of food hygiene (Mead and Slutsker, 2004). Infection can also be acquired through contaminated unwashed fingers, insects, circulation of bank notes and by wind during dry conditions (Isara, 2009). Contamination of food with eggs and cysts especially those sold by hawkers may also serve as a source of infection to consumers of such items (Umeche, 2009). Therefore, food handlers, i.e, any person who handles food, regardless of whether he actually prepares or serves it, play an important role in the transmission and, ultimately, prevention of food borne diseases (Isara, 2009).


Food handler, according to WHO (2008), is a person in the food trade or someone professionally associated with it including an inspector who, in his routine work, comes into direct contact with food in the cause of its production, processing, packaging or distribution. South African National Health Regulation (2009) defines a food handler as anyone who is engaged in any of the processes which make up or are ancillary to food processing, even though such a person might not handle food directly. Food handlers refer to anyone who directly prepares, cooks, stores, or serves food and drinks. For the purpose of this study, food handlers refer only to those who are cooks, servers, cash collectors, plate washers and cleaners in the restaurant.

Hornby (2008) described restaurant as places where meals can be bought and eaten. Brook (2008) referred to restaurant as public commercial food eating establishment. Shaw (2003) declared that restaurants are commercial public eating places, away from home, and therefore should be planned and operated to achieve the highest degree of hygiene in order to ensure the safety of the consumers as clients. From the foregoing definitions, restaurant as used in this study are food establishments away from home where food is consumed on commercial basis.

There are eighty one restaurants in both urban and rural areas of Bauchi Local Government Area, some of these restaurants offer only eating facilities while others offer temporary residential facilities. In addition, it is common knowledge that there are also illegal or unregistered restaurants or public eating places characterized by improvised or substandard structures scattered all over the urban areas. Some operate in temporary or improvised structures attached to buildings and some even operate in mobile stands. All the restaurants, including those with improvised or substandard structures scattered all over the local government, both registered and unregistered will be used for this study. The restaurant shall permit good hygiene practices, including protection against harmful cross-contamination or food-borne diseases.

Good hygiene practices encouraged through health education has been reported to be associated with low prevalence of communicable diseases in restaurant (Long-Shan et al,2003). Good hygiene practices, therefore, plays and important role in preventing spread of respiratory infection, helminthiasis, skin infection, food-borne disease and spread of new pathogens as in epidemics (Oduntan,2003). Understanding the knowledge, attitude and practices related to food and personal hygiene among target population is needed to plan and design behavioural interventions. According to this researcher, when food and personal hygiene knowledge, attitude and practice are promoted, they go a long way to prevent food poisoning. Consequently, knowledge, attitude and practice of food and personal hygiene among food handlers at an early stage can help in preventing further deterioration of general health (Nwobodo, 2007).
Adequate knowledge, positive attitude and correct personal hygiene practices have been identified by WHO (2004) as the major and most important measures in the prevention of food-borne diseases. Knowledge, according to Carter and Winifred (2005), is accumulated.....

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