Beliefs and practices in food safety among food handlers in restaurants of Chikankata district,Zambia
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Chikankata district is one of the newest districts of Southern Province and the busiest route as it connects Chirundu, Siavonga and Livingstone boarders to Lusaka. It is located 52kms from the capital city of Lusaka and shares boarders with Mazabuka, Siavonga, Chirundu and Kafue districts. It is a transit district with a huge traffic of people and goods moving through the Livingstone and Chirundu roads respectively to Lusaka and vice versa. According to CSO (2010), the district has a population of 59,909 inhabitants. Recently the general population has increased and this has lead to an increase in the demand for wide variety of food stuffs and eating establishments such as lodges, restaurants and guest houses. This prompted for the need to conduct a study on the beliefs and practices in food safety among food handlers of Chikankata District. The general objective of the study was to determine beliefs and practices in food safety among food handlers in Chikankata district. Specifically the study was designed to establish the socio-demographic characteristics of food handlers, describe beliefs in food safety among food handlers, assess food hygiene practices in food safety among food handlers, determine the level of knowledge in food safety among food handlers in food outlets and to determine association between social demographic characteristics with food safety in the district. The study site was Chikankata district with a sample size of about 120 food handlers working in the 26 restaurants which are registered and unregistered by the local authority. In general, regardless of the education level, there were more female food handlers (87.5%) working in restaurants than male in all age groups. The study revealed that 60% were not trained in any food hygiene and 87.5% of food handlers washed hands after every procedure in the restaurant while 5% washed hands twice in a shift. The study revealed that food handlers that were knowledgeable were among those with secondary level of education. The association between level of knowledge and practices was significant at 95% level of confidence with P-value=0.001. This significance was well supported by what food handlers believe about food safety. This study has therefore revealed that there was an association between level of knowledge and practices among food handlers.
SubjectFood industry trade--Safety measures--Handlers--Zambia
Restaurants--Employees--Health and hygiene--Zambia