Food safety assessment (attitudes and practices) among food handlers in school canteens in Sabah

Anjeeta Chelliah, (2012) Food safety assessment (attitudes and practices) among food handlers in school canteens in Sabah. Universiti Malaysia Sabah. (Unpublished)


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The objective of this study was to assess the attitudes and practices of food handlers in school canteens in Sabah. Three hundred and twenty food handlers from fifty-six schools canteens situated within Kota Kinabalu area were involved in the study. Face to face interview was conducted using standardized questionnaire. An onsite inspection on premise hygiene and food handler practices was carried using a standard checklist from local authority. Most of the food handlers perceived food safety is important towards preventing foodborne illness. However, 38.8% of the food handlers did not attend Food Handlers Training. Food handler's education level was significantly (p<0.05) associated with the perception on food safe for consumption (X²=41.9) and high-risk food (X²=146.9). Only 18.8% from those with tertiary education knew the safe method of defrosting frozen food. More than half of the respondents (55.6%) have wrong perception on high-risk food. The principal component analysis on the perception of high-risk food indicated that the food high in protein content and food from animal source were closely related with factor loadings of 0.766 and 0.684 respectively. In this study, only 66.6% of the respondents washed their hands after touching money and 60.6% of the food handlers were found to use gloves when handling ready-to-eat food. Female respondents (81.3%) reported to have better practices than the males (58.6%) in personal hygiene. Forty-two school canteens (75%) having separated refrigerators for raw and cooked foods. However, 39% of the respondents from those school canteens that without this separated facility do not know the correct way of keeping cooked food and raw food in the same refrigeration facility. More than 90% of the respondents have good attitude towards preparing food safely and personal hygiene. In conclusion, respondents have positive attitudes towards food safety but they do not apply it during handling food. Therefore, there is a need for periodical training for food handlers to improve their practices at work.

Item Type: Academic Exercise
Uncontrolled Keywords: food safety, attitude, food handler, premise hygiene, foodborne illness, education level
Subjects: T Technology > TX Home economics > Nutrition. Foods and food supply
Divisions: SCHOOL > School of Food Science and Nutrition
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2013 01:24
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 06:43

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