Full Length Research Paper
Food safety knowledge and practices of street foodvendors in Atbara City (Naher Elneel State Sudan) M. A. Abdalla, S. E. Suliman and A. O. Bakhiet*
College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Sudan University of Science and Technology P.O. Box 204, Khartoum North, Sudan. Accepted 22 September, 2009
The study was conducted to evaluate the food safety knowledge and practices of street food vendors in Atbara city between March and April, 2008. The questionnaires respondents were 28% male and 72% were female, 48% of them had primary school education while 42% were illiterates. The most prevalent isolated bacteria from cooked meals, bottled drink and fresh juice were; Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus auerus and Bacillus sp. The viable bacterial counts were 4.6 CFU/ml, 3.7 CFU/ml and 4.1 CFU/ml for cooked meals, bottled drink and juice, respectively. Key words: Street, food, vendors. INTRODUCTION The term "street food" refers to a wide variety of ready-toeat foods and beverages sold and sometimes prepared, in public places. Street food may be consumed where it was purchased or can be taken away and eaten elsewhere (WHO, 1996). The established food safety knowhow among the surveyed street food vendors regarding food contamination, types and symptoms of food diseases was significant since several pathogenic microorganisms had also been isolated from many street vended foods (Omemu et al., 2005). According to WHO (1989), food handling personnel play important role in ensuring food safety throughout the chain of food production and storage. Mishandling and disregard of hygienic measures on the part of the food vendors may enable pathogenic bacteria to come into contact with and in some cases survive and multiply in sufficient numbers to cause illness in the consumer. Tivadar (2003) highlighted the increasing prevalence of eating away from home and the use of partly or fully cooked food. Most of the vendors who sold both raw and cooked food items were not regulated; they operated haphazardly without any monitoring of what they prepared and how they prepared it (Ekanem, 1998; Abdalla et al., 2008b). Studies by FAO (1995) recorded poor knowledge, practices in food handling in the assessment of microbial contamination of food sold by vendors. This work was conducted to study the level of food safety knowledge, practices in food handling and assessment of microbial contamination of food sold by vendors. MATERIALS AND METHODS Study population and sample collection The survey was conducted to evaluate the food safety knowledge and practices of street food vendors within Atbara city, Nahr Elneel. The study was carried out between March and April, 2008. Fifty food vendors operating in the major streets, open air market, schools, offices and the general hospital were randomly sampled for this study. The written questionnaire used in this study was a modified version of a questionnaire from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on food safety, nutrition and cosmetics (FDA, 2003). The respondents were 28% males and 72% females, but 38% of them of age 31-40 and 28% of them were 21-30 old. The education level of 48% of respondents was primary schools where as 42% were illiterate. Most of the surveyed people (64%) were married. The stationary vendors represented 90%. Sixty four percent of the respondents had the health certificates, where as 36% were not presented them. The vendors had been in food vending work for less than 5 years were 78%, but only 2% worked for more than 20 years. The questionnaire was developed to collect data from street food vendors. The questionnaire was pre tested for clarity and validity on 10 randomly selected street food vendors in open air market area in Atbara. Results of the pre-test were used...