This study aimed at examining prerequisite programs of food safety among hotels in Accra, using hotels in the Ga-West municipality as well as the effects of gender and educational background on food safety in ten selected hotels. Prerequisite program is defined as essential practices and conditions for food safety required before and during the implementation of a HACCP program. Food safety is the assurance that food will not endanger the health of consumers when it is prepared and / or eaten according to its intended use. It is therefore necessary for people to understand how their behaviors and practices contribute to the safety of food, and how they can decrease the risk of foodborne illness. The research used cross-sectional descriptive survey design and considered 150 hotel staff as respondents using questionnaire survey to collect primary data. The sampled data was quantitatively analyzed using SPSS software on demographics, knowledge and practices of food safety/hygiene as well as environmental sanitation. The study results show that generally, attitudes and behaviors of hotel food-handlers in Ghana were satisfactory in the areas of food safety knowledge, personal hygiene, and cleaning and sanitation procedures, but unsatisfactory in areas of food handling and serving as well as food supply and storage. The men (54 %) dominated in the hotel food preparation in this study. There were no obvious differences between men and women with regards to their food safety knowledge, behaviors and attitudes. However, respondents with higher educational background were more knowledgeable on issues of food safety and hygiene than those with lower educational background. Food safety education and training for food-handlers, targeting specifically those with lower levels of education, should be strengthened to complement other interventions that pursue the enhancement of food safety systems in Ghana.

1.1 Background
The hospitality industry has become well-known in recent times, in response to the change in lifestyle and globalization, thus accounting for its growth due to the rise in population, international travel and trade and economic growth of capital towns in Ghana (Mowforth and Munt, 2015). Hotel restaurants offer ready to eat and ease access to food to individuals, tourists and foreigners who are incapable of preparing their own meals or who are away from home.

Prerequisite Programs (PRPs) provide basic operating and environmental conditions required for safe food production, providing the foundation for Hazard Analysis and Critical control Points (HACCP). They are the practices needed prior to and during implementation of the HACCP plan that are essential for food safety by describing Procedures to prevent the hazard (Baş et al., 2006). Examples of prerequisite programs possible for preventing hazards are good hygienic practices, good manufacturing practices, pest control, sanitation programs, residues programs, and many more.

Foodborne disease occurs as a consequence of consuming contaminated food that contains microorganisms such as pathogenic bacteria, parasites and viruses. In Ghana, Food safety is a national concern specifically, food that is served away from home to the public by food service industries such as the hospitality industries. Research by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the World Bank (2007), reported that one in every forty Ghanaian citizen suffers from food borne illness yearly and over 420,000 cases of food borne outbreak are recorded yearly.

Although it is very important for food handlers to observe higher standards of food safety policies, food safety and food hygiene practices among food handlers are appalling (Monney et al., 2014). Studies show that diarrheal infections contribute 96 % of food borne diseases of the world population, with 62 % of the population dying from eating unsafe food (Pimentel et al., 2017). The rate of food borne illness in Ghana is estimated to be 5.8 million yearly (Mensah and Aikins, 2010). The high occurrence of diarrheal diseases in most developing countries is due to consumption of unsafe food and poor personal hygiene practices and food safety problems (Akhtar et al., 2014). Thus, it is necessary for the continuous awareness creation and strict enforcement of regulations in the Ghanaian food industries. Therefore, this study was conducted to examine the state of food safety systems among selected hotels.

1.2 Problem Statement
Ensuring food safety is a critical problem facing most restaurants and hotel industries (Ababio and Lovatt, 2015). This has been attributed to the lack of prerequisites programs such as good manufacturing practices and other food safety system in the hospitality industry (Olaitan, 2011).

Studies that have been undertaken on the safety of street foods in Ghana concluded that most of the foods prepared are done under unhygienic conditions (Mensah et al., 2009). However, there is limited research on the subject of Prerequisites Programs of food safety in relation to the hospitality industry in the municipality. Research done in Jamaica by Stephanie et al. (2009) showed that, hotel and restaurant industries are the major sources of food contamination. Mensah (2016) has confirmed the fact that, there is limited knowledge on the adoption of prerequisite programs in the hotel food service industry in the Greater Accra Region.

1.2 Objectives of the Study

1.3.1 Broad Objective
To examine the state of food safety systems in selected hotels in Accra.

1.3.2 Specific Objectives 
To determine the prerequisite programs of food safety in ten selected hotels in the Ga-West municipality.

To determine the effects of gender and educational background on food safety in selected hotels.

1.4. Research Questions
To what extent do hotels in the study area, conform to the prerequisite programs on food safety?

What are the effects of gender and educational background in conforming to Prerequisite programs in hotels in Greater Accra?

1.5 Justification of the Study
Study findings will provide the needed information for stakeholders of the hospitality industries for greater improvement in the overall food safety management. This will help the hospitality industries to properly formulate, plan and evaluate strategies that effectively strengthen the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of related staff regarding food safety in order to sustain and grow their businesses devoid of regulatory sanctions.

1.6 Scope of the Study
The research covered selected hotels in the Ga-West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The study concentrated on issues affecting food safety in these hotels. The population of the study area is 219,788 with comparatively more females than males. It has a youthful population with 33.4 percent of them below the ages of 15 years (Population and Housing Census, 2010).

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 44 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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