Assessment of food safety knowledge, attitude, practices of food handlers and microbial contamination in foods at the canteens of a University in Pakistan

Submitted: 21 August 2021
Accepted: 10 July 2022
Published: 30 August 2022
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Developing nations are striving to assure food safety that rely mainly upon handling procedures. The current study focused upon the understanding level and practices of food handlers working at various canteens of University of the Punjab, Quid-i-Azam campus, Lahore. Different canteens were selected where 300 different food handlers were judged for their approach towards food safety through a closed ended questionnaire. Samples of different food products were also taken randomly for their microbiological safety evaluation. The whole data was analyzed using chi-square to assess the proportion of correct and incorrect responses among various parameters. The non-significant variation was observed among the knowledge, attitude and practices scores of university and its hostels’ canteens food handlers. Overall, 60% of the responses were correct from the university and hostel canteens food handlers. Similarly, 50-60% of the responses regarding attitude and practices were correct from the university and hostel canteen food handlers. With many technical flaws, these food handlers showed moderate level of knowledge. Not only apprentices but the supervisors too, lacked the basic knowledge of temperature as major factor creating potential food safety threats. Lack of knowledge about personal hygiene and workplace sanitation were few contributing factors towards heedless behavior. Incidence of Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus contamination in food samples was found 29% and 57%, respectively, while 35% food samples were found contaminated with E. coli. It further exposed the negligence, emphasizing proper training of employees as part and parcel of food safety procedures. It was concluded that more training programs along with periodic validation of food manufacturing standards are required to ensure food safety. Furthermore, strict surveillance and implementation of GMPs by the administrative authorities are needed to safeguard the consumers’ health.

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How to Cite

1.
Waseem Ali S, Ahmad M, Asif M, Amir RM, Ali A. Assessment of food safety knowledge, attitude, practices of food handlers and microbial contamination in foods at the canteens of a University in Pakistan. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 17];11(3). Available from: https://www.pagepressjournals.org/ijfs/article/view/10051