HYGIENIC PRACTICES AMONG FOOD VENDORS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL
The need for hygiene practice of food vendors in schools is predominantly important with particular reference to the health of students. These students are the nation builders of tomorrow so their life should not be in jeopardy. Food safety is a corporate social responsibility as food is a product where consumption is not just a matter of choice, but is ultimately a matter of life and death (Peattie, 2006). Fidel (2005) defined food vendors as people who prepare food at home and are being consumed in the school without further preparation. Food vended are the source of affordable food for student. But foods served in schools do not often meet proper hygienic standard, because of inadequate food safety laws, lack of financial resources to invest in safer equipment, and lack of education enlighten for food-handlers. Food handlers are very important people when considering food safety. Their hygiene practices affect a larger part of the population who depend on them for their meals (Addo et al., 2007).
According to Musa and Akande (2003) food vending business assures food security for students at school and provides a livelihood for a large number of people who would otherwise be unable to establish a business for want of capital. In a study carried out by Musa and Akande (2003) majority of the vendors (56.8%) had no formal education and less than 40% of the total respondents had any form of training on food hygiene. In a study conducted by Agyel and Owusu (2013) it was observed that the (5%) food vendors had at least primary education, almost half of them (48%) attaining junior high school (JHS) education. According to Addo et al (2007) most food vendors have barely any formal education. Food vendors below 18yrs were not found in the educational institutions since the school authorities regard it as a form of child labour (Monney et al., 2013).
Medical examination of food handlers according to FAO (2009) and WHO (1996), is necessary if causes or transmission or observation of diseases or medical treatment are indicated. This can help to ban people with infectious diseases from food handling. All the same, as a form of precaution, 286 of criminal code, (Amendment) Act, 2003 (Act 646) of Ghana charges all food vendors to be examined to ensure they do not infect consumers with communicable diseases. In a study conducted by Money, Agyei and Onwusu (2013) 68% of the vendors had been medically examined. Out of which 95% showed their certificate at the time of the interview. Odugbemi (1992) claimed that most authorities in developing countries still emphasize medical examination as a prerequisite for people to be engage in food trade.
1.2 Problem Statement
In Nigeria, the National Agency for Food Drug Agency (NAFDAC) has done a lot in relation to drugs, yet, there exists a huge vacuum in monitoring food vendors. Demands for accurate data, monitoring and evaluation from national statistical agencies and food and drug regulators are also expected and would help raise andaintain the standard (Agbonyim, 2011). Food and Agricultural Organization (2008) explained that people are often discouraged about eating school prepared foods due to uncleanliness and non freshness of the food resting from the food vendors. Hence there is need to assess the hygienic practices among food vendors in secondary schools.
1.3 Objective s of the Study
The major objective of the study is to assess the hygienic practices among food vendors in secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
(1) what is hygiene?
(2) what is the level of educational background of the food vendors in secondary schools?
(3) How often is seminars o. Food safety and hygiene organizes for food vendors?
(4) where do the food vendors prepare the meal for students consumption in the school premises?
(5) Do the environmental sanitary Inspectors visit the school to inspect quality of food prepared for the students' consumption in the school premises?
1.5 Significance of the study
Food can be said to be safe when it contains no hazardous substance that could be injurious to health (Wallace, 2006 and Codex Alimentarius, 2009). The lives of the students should be of vital significance to the society because they are the builders of tomorrow. Therefore we cannot afford to toil with their lives. It is therefore very important to assess the hygienic practices among food vendors in secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the study
The research focuses on the hygienic practices among food vendors in selected secondary schools in Nigeria.
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