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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Hygiene, Food Safety Practices and Sanitation in Some Food Service Centres in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Binta Sambo Abdullahi , Sakina Bello Maiha, Hadiza Kubura Lawal
American Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2020, 8(5), 206-210. DOI: 10.12691/ajfst-8-5-5
Received September 11, 2020; Revised October 12, 2020; Accepted October 21, 2020

Abstract

The aim of this research was to study the level of knowledge of hygiene, food safety and sanitation in some food service centres in Zaria. Questionnaires were used to collect information on personal characteristics of food handlers, hygiene and food handling techniques. As well as food safety practices and sanitation of food centres. Out of 90 respondents, 53(58.9%) were less than 30 years, 53(58.9%) were males, 37(41.1%) females and 83(84.4%) had formal education and exhibited good hygiene behaviour. There were significant differences (p<0.05) among the three categories of food service centres in hygiene practices. Moreover, meticulous hand washing was not observed in any of the food centres. This study also revealed the poor sanitary measures taken in the sanitation of food preparation and handling areas. Most of the food handlers did not know that disinfectants were used for reducing bacteria to a safe level. Water for washing raw materials and cleaning utensils were not adequate in “bukas” as they were in restaurants and cafeterias. There were also potential health risks associated with methods used by food handlers to test adequacy of cooking by touching foods with bare hands.

1. Introduction

Food service centre refers to a place where foods are prepared, served and eaten at the facility or taken away to be eaten elsewhere. It includes institutional facilities, catering operations and restaurants 1. In Nigeria, like other developing countries, food service operations are means of income generation for highly and lowly educated individuals, especially women and their families. Most of such foods are prepared daily from a variety of ingredients to suit both local and continental taste and demand. Food service establishments provide an essential service to people of all walks of life by selling complete ready to eat meals, refreshing drinks and snacks to them. However, such practices as frequent handling of food with bare hands, addition of contaminated raw ingredients, use of contaminated water and preparation of foods in a polluted environment can expose food to contamination with pathogens which could result in health hazards 2. Although there are less food surveillance activities in Nigeria, some research studies have shown presence of food-borne pathogens and high microbial load in some street foods 2, 3. There has been minimal research into food safety and food handling practices in food service establishments in Nigeria, however, similar studies have been conducted in the United Kingdom and United States of America 4, 5.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Questionnaire Interview of Food Handlers and Consumers

The questionnaires were designed to obtain information on hygiene practices, food-safety practices, sanitation in food preparation areas, waste disposal practices, sanitary facilities in food service centres and food-handlers personal hygiene practices. Additionally, information on knowledge of diarrhoea and food-poisoning were obtained. Other information collected include, whether or not food-handlers were aware of proper food preparation procedures, right cooking methods, correct food-handling methods after cooking and sources of food contamination. The study area was divided into three zones namely: Samaru-Hanwa Zone, Sabongari-Congo and Zaria City-Wusasa zone. The questionnaires were used to collect information from 45 food-service centres from the three zones. For each zone, a total of fifteen centres were visited comprising of five “bukas”, five cafeterias and five restaurants. The selection of food-service centres for the study was based on consent given by the proprietors of the food-service centres. The Tukey’s test, a multiple comparison test obtained under the ONE-WAY Analysis of Variance menu of the SPSS Statistical Package was used for analysing the data at the 0.05 level of significance.

3. Results

3.1. Hygiene and Food Safety Practices and Knowledge of Diarrhoea

A total of 45 food centres comprising (15 restaurants, 15 cafeterias and 15 “bukas”) in Zaria were visited and each centre was presented with questionnaires. Questionnaire for food hygiene, safety and sanitation practices in food service centres in Zaria was filled based on the researcher’s observation of various hygiene, food safety practices and sanitation of the food centres. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) among the three categories of food service facilities in hygiene practices. About 14 (93.3%) of restaurants had adequate water for cleaning utensils. However, all 15 cafeterias had adequate water for cleaning utensils while only 7(46.7) of “bukas” had adequate water for cleaning utensils this is shown in Table 1. Water for washing raw materials and cleaning utensils were not adequate in “bukas” as they were in restaurants and cafeterias Table 1. Refrigeration facility was available in only two out of the fifteen “bukas” visited while the availability of this facility was similar in restaurants and cafeterias. Diarrhoea was defined by 72 (80%) respondents as the passage of more than three liquid stools in a day. Additionally, 18 (20%) associated diarrhoea with mucoid stools, Table 2. A total of 84 respondents (93.3 %) believed that diarrhoea was caused by germs while 6 (6.7%) associated diarrhoea with chemicals in food and water, Table 2. Similarly, 84 (93.3%) of respondents agree that diarrhoeal pathogens were transmitted through dirty food and water while 6 (6.7%) did not agree. A total of 78 (86.7%) associated transmission of diarrhoeal pathogens with dirty hands and 74 (82.2%) with dirty utensils while 12(13.3%) and 16 (17.8%) did not associate transmission of diarrhoeal pathogens with dirty hands or utensils respectively, Table 2.

3.2. Personal Characteristics of Food Handlers

Table 3 shows responses to questionnaire on personal characteristics and hygiene of food handlers, 53(58.9%) of the respondents were less than 30 years indicating the active participation of youths in food preparation and handling in these centres, while 9 (10.0%) were above 50 years. A total of 7(7.8%) of the respondents had no formal education. However, 44(97.8%) of the food handlers exhibited good hygiene behaviour as they were dressed in clean cloth, 33(73.3%) wore hair cover and 41(91.1%) kept cut nails. Frequent hand washing was not observed in any of the centres. Table 4 indicates foods prepared by some food service centres studied in Zaria with identified sources of potential contamination.

4. Discussion

Poor personal hygiene behaviour of the food handlers was observed in this study, although 44(97.8%) were dressed in clean cloths, 33 (73.3%) wore hair covers, and 41(91.1%) kept short nails, frequent hand washing was not observed in any of the food service centres surveyed, therefore the food handlers lack the basic knowledge of the importance of hand washing during food preparation and handling. A hygienic hand washing for food handling purposes could be defined as requiring warm water, soap or detergent and scrubbing or rubbing action for at least 20 seconds. Washing without detergent or soap is generally regarded as ineffective in destroying microbes that could be present on hands 6, 7. Hand washing even with soap or detergent, for less than 20 seconds is also likely to be less effective hygiene activity 7, 8. Effective hand washing was therefore not practiced by a significant proportion of food handlers before or during food preparation. It could be reasonable to conclude therefore, that effective hand washing rarely occurs in food service centres.

Most food handlers wipe their hands with either their personal clothing or with unclean kitchen towels. This attitude could lead to cross-contamination of food with pathogens. In a previous study conducted by 8, 18.0% of 1,203 respondents answered that they do dry their hands on the same towel they use for drying dishes.

The rubbing of nose, adjusting head covers, blowing nose, scratching parts of the body or touching dirty clothing, sneezing, yawning and coughing and many other habitual actions could dramatically affect food safety. These dirty habits are very hard to control, but a conscious effort should be made to curtail them while in food processing or preparation area 9. There is also potential health risks associated with methods used by food handlers to test the adequacy of cooking by touching foods with bare hands. Fingers are normally used to feel food stuffs and ingredients for texture and to ascertain the adequacy of manual grinding or pounding, and this has the potential to contribute to the microbial load of foods 2. Although the time-temperature exposure during cooking was adequate to kill vegetative cells, the frequency of cross-contamination from hands of food handlers and utensils was high. The holding of cooked foods for prolonged periods (i.e. several hours) after preparation and at temperatures of 27 to 40°C is a hazard. It is unacceptable by most public health standards because it is a contributing factor to occurrence of food-borne disease.

Poor sanitary handling of foods is identified as a major contribution to contamination in this study and other studies 3, 7. Sanitation comes from the Latin word santas meaning "health", in food plants and food services situation, sanitation means wholesome food, handled in a hygienic environment by healthy food handlers in a way that the food stays safe 9. This study revealed the poor sanitary measures used in the sanitation of food preparation and handling areas. The practice of daily sweeping was observed in the food service centres but adequate scrubbing and mopping of floors and working surfaces was lacking especially in the cafeterias and “bukas”, disinfectants were not used in cleaning. Most of the food handlers did not know that disinfectants were used for reducing bacteria to a safe level. It is therefore likely that the entire environment could contain high number of microbiological contaminants. The lack of facilities for waste water drainage and garbage disposal in the 15 “bukas” surveyed encourages waste to be thrown into nearby streets and gutters. Such areas act as habitats for rodents, breeding place for flies and media for growth of microorganisms. Ready-to-eat foods sold in unsanitary locations are susceptible to contamination by flies and pathogenic micro-organisms. The correlation between houseflies and diarrhoeal diseases has been documented 2, 3, 10. The evidence of flies in cooking and serving vicinities of the studied food centres were visible.

Responses of the questionnaire on knowledge of diarrhoea and food poisoning demonstrated that the respondents were aware of the frequency of stools an individual should pass in a day before it is attributed to diarrhoea (84%), they also had the knowledge of diarrhoea being transmitted through dirty food and water, and germs are the primary cause of diarrhoea. In a similar study carried out in Ghana by 10, a higher percentage (94%) of respondents associated diarrhoea with the passage of three or more stools per day. But it is of public health concern to note that 70% of the respondents in this study were not aware that food poisoning bacteria could be present in food that look, smell and taste normal. This result clearly indicates that the majority of the respondents did not understand that organoleptic assessment of food was insufficient to identify food contaminated by pathogenic bacteria. Only 78(86.7%) out of the 90 respondents associated diarrhoeal transmission with dirty hands and 82.2% associated diarrhoeal transmission with dirty utensils, while 13.3% and 17.8% did not associate transmission of diarrhoeal pathogens with dirty hands and utensils respectively. In a similar study by 10 out of the 177 street vendors interviewed, none was aware that dirty hands were a risk factor for diarrhoea. A total of 18.6% out of 1,203 respondents in a national Australian food safety telephone survey failed to recognise that washing hands before handling or preparing food was an important food hygiene activity 8. Only 6(6.7%) out of the ninety respondents in this study associated diarrhoea with chemicals. It is generally impossible by visual inspection to tell whether food is contaminated or not. It should be remembered also that most food-poisoning bacteria cause symptoms only when eaten in large number after multiplying in food, they do not usually alter the appearance, taste or smell of food. In a survey on knowledge, attitude and responses of a rural Nigerian community in Anambra State to outbreaks of cholera by 11 revealed that in spite of the people's knowledge of the causes and health consequences of cholera infection this did not translate into proper attitude and practice of appropriate hygienic and clean environmental behaviour. Behaviour related to personal and environmental hygiene in food preparation and handling facilitate occurrence and severity of food poisoning outbreaks 12.

5. Conclusion

This research finding indicates the need for stricter implementation of food sanitation code and the licensing of food service centres by appropriate food agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Public health authorities also need to intensify efforts to monitor conditions of hygiene, food safety and sanitation in these establishments.

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the Department of Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria and all food centres that facilitated this research.

References

[1]  Bryan, F. L. Guzewich, J. J. and Todd, E. C. D. (1997). Surveillance of Food-borne Diseases ii Summary and Presentation of Descriptive Data and Epidemiologic Patterns, their Values and Limitations. Journal of Food Protection, 60 (5): 567-578.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[2]  Ehiri, J. E. Azubuike, M. C., Ubbaonu, C. N., Anyanwu, E. C., Ibe K. M. and Ogbonna, M. O. (2001). Critical Control Points of complementary food preparation and handling in Eastern Nigeria. Bullentin World Health Organisation, 79: 423-433.
In article      
 
[3]  Umoh, V. J. and Odoba, M. B. (1999). Safety and Quality Evaluation of Street Foods Sold in Zaria, Nigeria. Food Control, 10: 9-14.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Taylor, E. (2001). HACCP in Small Companies: Benefit or Burden? Food Control, 12(4):217-222.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Walker, E., Pritchard, C. and Forsey, S. (2003). Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and Prerequisite Programme Implementation in Small and Medium Size Businesses. Food Control, 14: 169-174.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Synder, O. P. (1998). Hand Washing for Retail Food Operations. Diary Food Environmental Sanitation, 18: 149-162.
In article      
 
[7]  Ifeadike, C.O, Ironkwe. O.C., Adogu, P.O and Nnebue, C.C. (2014). Assessment of the Food Hygiene Practices of Food Handlers in the Federal CapitalTerritory of Nigeria. Tropical Journal of Medical Research, 17 (1).
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Jay, L. S., Comar, D. and Govenlock, L. D. (1999). A National Australian food safety telephone survey. Journal of Food Protection, 62(8): 921-928.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[9]  Onuorah, C. E., Ayo, J. A. and Uhiara, N. S. (2003). Sanitation: Key to Success in Food Processing Plants. Amana Ltd Zaria. 2-209.
In article      
 
[10]  Mensah, P., Yeboah-Manu D., Owusu-Darko, L. and Ablordey, A. (2002). Street Foods in Accra, Ghana: How Safe Are They?: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 80(7): 546-554.
In article      
 
[11]  Bamidele, J. O., Amusan, O. A and Egbewale, B. E. (2003). Knowledge, Attitude and Responses of a Rural Nigerian Community to Outbreaks of Cholera. Nigerian Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, 15(12): 74-81.
In article      
 
[12]  Oluwaseun, E.O., Raimi, M.O., Sanchez, N.D., Abdulraheem, A.F., Okolosi-Patainnocent, E., Habeeb, M.F andFadeyibi, M. (2019). Assessment of Environmental Sanitation, Food Safety Knowledge, Handling Practice among Food Handlers of Bukateria Complexes in Iju Town, Akure North of Ondo State, Nigeria. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 3(6).
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2020 Binta Sambo Abdullahi, Sakina Bello Maiha and Hadiza Kubura Lawal

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Binta Sambo Abdullahi, Sakina Bello Maiha, Hadiza Kubura Lawal. Hygiene, Food Safety Practices and Sanitation in Some Food Service Centres in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. American Journal of Food Science and Technology. Vol. 8, No. 5, 2020, pp 206-210. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajfst/8/5/5
MLA Style
Abdullahi, Binta Sambo, Sakina Bello Maiha, and Hadiza Kubura Lawal. "Hygiene, Food Safety Practices and Sanitation in Some Food Service Centres in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria." American Journal of Food Science and Technology 8.5 (2020): 206-210.
APA Style
Abdullahi, B. S. , Maiha, S. B. , & Lawal, H. K. (2020). Hygiene, Food Safety Practices and Sanitation in Some Food Service Centres in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. American Journal of Food Science and Technology, 8(5), 206-210.
Chicago Style
Abdullahi, Binta Sambo, Sakina Bello Maiha, and Hadiza Kubura Lawal. "Hygiene, Food Safety Practices and Sanitation in Some Food Service Centres in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria." American Journal of Food Science and Technology 8, no. 5 (2020): 206-210.
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  • Table 2. Knowledge of causes of diarrhoea and sources of contamination of food by germs in some food service centres in Zaria
  • Table 3. Personal characteristics and personal hygiene of respondents in some food service centres in Zaria, Nigeria
  • Table 4. Some of the foods prepared by some food service centres studied in Zaria with identified sources of potential contamination
[1]  Bryan, F. L. Guzewich, J. J. and Todd, E. C. D. (1997). Surveillance of Food-borne Diseases ii Summary and Presentation of Descriptive Data and Epidemiologic Patterns, their Values and Limitations. Journal of Food Protection, 60 (5): 567-578.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[2]  Ehiri, J. E. Azubuike, M. C., Ubbaonu, C. N., Anyanwu, E. C., Ibe K. M. and Ogbonna, M. O. (2001). Critical Control Points of complementary food preparation and handling in Eastern Nigeria. Bullentin World Health Organisation, 79: 423-433.
In article      
 
[3]  Umoh, V. J. and Odoba, M. B. (1999). Safety and Quality Evaluation of Street Foods Sold in Zaria, Nigeria. Food Control, 10: 9-14.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Taylor, E. (2001). HACCP in Small Companies: Benefit or Burden? Food Control, 12(4):217-222.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Walker, E., Pritchard, C. and Forsey, S. (2003). Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and Prerequisite Programme Implementation in Small and Medium Size Businesses. Food Control, 14: 169-174.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Synder, O. P. (1998). Hand Washing for Retail Food Operations. Diary Food Environmental Sanitation, 18: 149-162.
In article      
 
[7]  Ifeadike, C.O, Ironkwe. O.C., Adogu, P.O and Nnebue, C.C. (2014). Assessment of the Food Hygiene Practices of Food Handlers in the Federal CapitalTerritory of Nigeria. Tropical Journal of Medical Research, 17 (1).
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Jay, L. S., Comar, D. and Govenlock, L. D. (1999). A National Australian food safety telephone survey. Journal of Food Protection, 62(8): 921-928.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[9]  Onuorah, C. E., Ayo, J. A. and Uhiara, N. S. (2003). Sanitation: Key to Success in Food Processing Plants. Amana Ltd Zaria. 2-209.
In article      
 
[10]  Mensah, P., Yeboah-Manu D., Owusu-Darko, L. and Ablordey, A. (2002). Street Foods in Accra, Ghana: How Safe Are They?: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 80(7): 546-554.
In article      
 
[11]  Bamidele, J. O., Amusan, O. A and Egbewale, B. E. (2003). Knowledge, Attitude and Responses of a Rural Nigerian Community to Outbreaks of Cholera. Nigerian Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, 15(12): 74-81.
In article      
 
[12]  Oluwaseun, E.O., Raimi, M.O., Sanchez, N.D., Abdulraheem, A.F., Okolosi-Patainnocent, E., Habeeb, M.F andFadeyibi, M. (2019). Assessment of Environmental Sanitation, Food Safety Knowledge, Handling Practice among Food Handlers of Bukateria Complexes in Iju Town, Akure North of Ondo State, Nigeria. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 3(6).
In article