StreetFoodsNigeria - Studies in Sociology of Science Vol....

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Vol. 1 , No. 1 , 2010 , pp. 50-57 ISSN 1923-0176 50 Food Safety and Hyienic Practices of Street Food Vendors in Owerri, Nigeria Comfort O. Chukuezi 1 Abstract: The paper examines the food safety and hygienic practices of street food vendors in Owerri, Nigeria. It argues that although street foods play an important role in meeting the food demands of urban dwellers, there are several health hazards associated with them. The study found that women made up 66.67% of the vendors while males made up 33.33%. The average age group was 31-40 years. 23.81% of the vendors prepared food in unhygienic conditions. 42.86% did not use aprons; 47.62% handled food with bare hands and 52.38% wore no hair covering while 61.90% handled money while serving food. 19.05% wore jewelry while serving food and 28.57% blew air into polythene bag before use. 9.52% of the vendors stored food for serving openly in the stalls while 23.81% stored them in the wheelbarrows. 42.86% had leftovers for serving the next day with poor storage facilities. 47.62% of the vendors washed their utensils with dirty water which is recycled and used severally in 28.57% despite the fact that only 9.52% of them complained of water shortages. Thr paper recommends that there is need for health education of these vendors in order to ensure food safety for the consumers. Keywords : food safety; hygienic; street food; vendors; Owerri Nigeria INTRODUCTION Street foods are ready –to-eat foods and beverages prepared and/or sold by vendors, especially on streets and other public places (Muleta and Ashenafi 2001). There is a noticeable increase of food vendors in Owerri, capital city of Imo State in Nigeria as a result of dwindling economy and unemployment. Also there have been rapidly growing and changing food demands by the urban dwellers needing cheaper food in the face of a harsh economy . Types of vending sites encompass stalls, a variety of push-carts, roadside stands, and hawkers depending upon the ingenuity of the individual, resources available, type of food sold and the availability of other facilities (FAO (1990). In spite of numerous advantages offered by street foods, there are also several health hazards associated with this sector of the economy. Multiple lines of evidence reveal that foods exposed for sale on the roadsides may become contaminated either by spoilage or pathogenic micro-organisms (Bryan et al 1992; Ashenafi, 1995; WHO, 1984). Evidently, street vended foods have shown epidemiological links with illness (El-Sherbeeny et al 1985; Saddik et al, 1985; Abdussan and Kafertein 1993). FAO (1997) further stipulates that street foods raise concern with respect to their potential for serious food poisoning outbreaks. The rise of street food vending has created 1 Directorate of General Studies, Federal University of Technology, P. M. B 1526, Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. E-mail: [email protected] Received on March 20, 2010; accepted on May 1, 2010
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2011 for the course GSB 4346 taught by Professor Sss during the Spring '10 term at De La Salle University.

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StreetFoodsNigeria - Studies in Sociology of Science Vol....

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