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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 114-120

Personal hygiene of street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Nursing Services, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Nigeria

Date of Submission29-Sep-2017
Date of Decision13-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance11-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication19-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmad A Umar
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njbcs.njbcs_30_17

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  Abstract 


Background and Aims: Street-food vendors play an important role in the aetiology of food borne disease outbreaks. Food borne disease pathogens may be transferred by street-food vendors to food either directly or by cross contamination. This study assessed the personal hygiene among street-food vendors in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Methods: It was a cross sectional study conducted among 109 adult street-food vendors who sell cooked food or food items by the road side or open spaces in Sabon Gari LGA. Multistage sampling technique was used to select the respondents. Data was collected using observation checklist and pretested interviewer administered structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions. The data obtained was analysed using IBM SPSS statistics 20. Results: Most of the street-food vendors were within age group 35-44 years (40.4%). Most (49.5%) of the people who patronized street-food vendors were passers-by and more than half of the street-food vendors operate under a shade (50.5%). All the street-food vendors did not receive training on personal hygiene. More than half of the street-food vendors 55 (50.4%) had poor personal hygiene. Also 103 (94.5%) and 100 (91.7%) of the food vending sites has chairs/benches where customers could sit to eat and cooking spot separated from the serving area, respectively. Conclusion: Most of the street-food vendors had poor personal hygiene, however majority had a fairly good environmental sanitation status around their vending sites. Formal training on personal hygiene should be conducted among all street-food vendors in the LGA in order to improve on their personal hygiene practice for the vending of safe food to their consumers.

Keywords: Food hygiene, personal hygiene, street-food vendors and Sabon-Gari


How to cite this article:
Umar AA, Sambo MN, Sabitu K, Mande AT, Umar J. Personal hygiene of street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Niger J Basic Clin Sci 2019;16:114-20

How to cite this URL:
Umar AA, Sambo MN, Sabitu K, Mande AT, Umar J. Personal hygiene of street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Niger J Basic Clin Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 12];16:114-20. Available from: http://www.njbcs.net/text.asp?2019/16/2/114/271001




  Introduction Top


People are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks posed by microbial pathogens and potentially hazardous chemicals in food especially those that may enter food during preparation or serving.[1] The trends in global food production, processing, distribution and preparation present new challenges to food safety. Food grown in one country can now be transported and consumed halfway across the world. People demand a wider variety of foods than in the past; they want foods that are not in season and often eat away from home. These situations lead to creation of conditions necessary for widespread outbreaks of foodborne illness. Food and waterborne diarrheal diseases are leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries, killing an estimated 2.2 million people annually, most of whom are children. Foodborne diseases most seriously affect children, pregnant women, the elderly and people already affected by other diseases. Foodborne diseases do not only significantly affect people's health and well-being, but they also have economic consequences for individuals, families, communities, businesses and countries. These diseases impose a substantial burden on health-care systems and markedly reduce economic productivity.[1] Deeply concerned by this, the 53rd World Health Assembly in May 2000, adopted a resolution calling upon the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States to recognize food safety as an essential public health function.[2],[3] The resolution also called on WHO to develop a Global Strategy for reducing the burden of foodborne disease. Prevention and control of food borne diseases was declared to be a public health priority by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2000.[3]

The predominant means of contracting foodborne diseases is through consumption of street food which is common in many countries where unemployment is high, salaries are low, work opportunities and social programmes are limited, and where urbanization is taking place. A study shows that food hawking is a common activity in Nigeria with a very high patronage from low-income earners and traders.[4] Street-food vendors benefit from a positive cash flow, often evade taxation and can determine their own working hours. In selling snacks, complete meals, and refreshments at relatively low prices, they provide an essential service to workers, shoppers, travelers, and people on low incomes. People who depend on such food are often more interested in its convenience than in questions of its safety, quality and hygiene. Food-borne disease pathogens may be transferred by street-food vendors to food either directly or by cross contamination. Also, there are many other ways in which food becomes contaminated and causes illness. Cultural practices, such as the consumption of raw or under-cooked foods, play a major role in the spread of parasitic diseases.

Poor standards of hygiene during food preparation and the lack of training in food safety are probably the most common causes of foodborne illness. Many people are unaware that a number of raw foods contain pathogens. These can cause illnesses when they are not thoroughly cooked or handled properly in the kitchen. Chemical contaminants can cause a variety of acute and chronic diseases in humans.[5] Cancer, neurological diseases and developmental deficiencies are some of the more serious adverse health effects posed by chemicals. In order to assess the potential health risks of chemicals, risk assessment methods have been developed to predict possible harm to the human population and to provide guidance on safe levels in food. Hence, this study was aimed at assessing the personal hygiene practices among street-food vendors in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.


  Methods Top


Study area

Sabon Gari Local Government Area is one of the 23 LGAs of Kaduna state, located in Northern Senatorial Zone. It has a boundary with Ikara, Makarfi, Giwa, Zaria and Soba Local Government in the north, northwest, west, south and east respectively. It covers a land area of about 60,000 square kilometers and has a projected (2016 from 2006 census) population of 322,874, and has 11 wards: Anguwan-Gabas, Basawa, Bomo, Chikaji, Dogarawa, Hanwa, Jama'a, Jushi, Muciya, Samaru, and Zabi. The LGA comprises of a heterogeneous mix of tribes; a preponderance Hausa and Fulani amidst Yoruba, Igbo, Gwari, etc. The predominant occupations of the people are farming, trading and civil service, while Islam and Christianity are the main religions practiced by them.[6] Sabon Gari LGA has few numbers of good roads even within the headquarters, and has persistent shortage of pipe-borne water for years. There is one abattoir and 2 slaughter slabs. The abattoir is owned by the state government, but run and managed jointly with private firms. Slaughter slabs are owned by the LGA. Daily operations of the slaughter facilities are overseen by informal leaders or heads (Sarkin Fawa) of the butchers' union.

Sabon Gari LGA has 58 health facilities in its 11 political wards and 6 districts which are overseen by 332 staff of Primary Health Care (PHC) Department. Among these facilities, 33 are government owned, while 25 are private. The PHC Department has various units among which is the Disease Control Unit which also has three divisions: water, sanitation and food hygiene. There are many street-food vendors hawking different kinds of foods and food materials in almost all the streets, but there are no records of their number and or activities in the Health Department of the LGA. However, there are twenty-three (23) registered food establishments (restaurants) in the LGA and staff of Disease Control Unit usually carry out inspection of these establishments quarterly, but additional inspection may be carried out when disease outbreaks such as cholera occur.

Study design and study population

The study design was a cross-sectional descriptive one, conducted among 109 adult street-food vendors who sell cooked food or raw food items by the road side or open spaces in Sabon Gari LGA. All street-food vendors who were mobile (Ambulatory) and those operating in restaurants and other established food businesses were excluded.

Sample size determination

The sample size was determined using the following formula;



Where;

n = minimum sample size

Z = Z score corresponding to 95% level of significance i.e. 1.96

p = estimated level of knowledge of food hygiene from a previous study = 8%.[4]

q = complementary probability of p = 1 - p

d = degree of precision required = 5%





n = 113

The total population is less than 10, 0000 hence the sample size was adjusted using the following formula;



nf = desired minimum sample size when total population is <10,000

n = estimated total population

Therefore,





Adding non-response rate of 10% = 104 + 10.4 = 114

Therefore, the sample size is 114.

Sampling technique

Multistage sampling technique was used in selecting the study sample. The following stages were followed:

Stage 1 (Selection of study LGA): selection of the study LGA was done using simple random sampling (SRS) by balloting from list of all the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State. Sabon Gari was selected as the study LGA.

Stage 2 (Selection of wards): a list of all the political wards were drawn. Then using SRS by balloting, two political wards (Samaru and Zabi) were selected from the LGA.

Stage 3 (Selection of settlements): four settlements ('Yar-doma, L/Mangorori, Anguwan-Rimi, Kurmin-Bomo, Katanga, Shikadam, 'Yar-Bita and Hayin-Ojo) were selected from the list of the settlements in every chosen ward using balloting method.

Stage 4 (Selection of streets): five streets to be used were randomly selected using balloting from each selected settlement.

Stage 5 (Selection of street-food vendors): based on sampling frame of street-food vendors in every street proportionate allocation was used to select the 114 street-food vendors for the study. Using balloting the number of street-food vendors to be studied was selected based on the proportion allocated for that street.

Study instruments

Data was collected using an adapted pretested interviewer-administered structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions. Prior to data collection five research assistants (Residents Doctors of Community Medicine Department) were trained for two days on the tools and data collection techniques to be used. The questionnaire was pretested in a different LGA (Giwa LGA) from the study LGA and some adjustment were made. An Observation Checklist was used to collect data on personal hygiene and hygiene of the vending site.

Data collection methods

The street-food vendors were interviewed in a convenient place near the sites or location of their businesses by the researcher and research assistants using a pretested, structured questionnaire. Data was collected on their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and attitudes toward various aspects of personal hygiene practices. There were limited (inspection only) general physical examination of the street-food vendors and observation using a checklist of the general surroundings, cooking utensils, plates and manner of serving food. However, sample such as stool and urine were not collected.

Statistical analyses

The data obtained were entered, cleaned and coding was done where necessary, and analysis was carried out using IBM SPSS statistics 20.[7] Results were presented in tables, charts, graphs and bivariate analysis using cross tabulations to infer on the relationship between relevant variables. Summary statistics using mean, standard deviations and percent were calculated for each quantitative variable and the statistical significance of the relationship between variables were determined using Chi square test (for qualitative or categorical variables) with P value of ≤ 0.05.

Scoring and grading was done as follows: where a parameter (e.g., use of Uniform/Apron) is observed a score of one (1) is given but a score of zero (0) is awarded for parameters that are not available or observed. In the overall scoring, a score of 70% and above is deemed as having good personal or food hygiene; 50-69% as fair; while less than 50% as poor personal or food hygiene. However, for sanitation of vending site a score of less than 50% is deemed as having good environmental sanitation; 50-69% as fair; while 70% and above is deemed as having poor environmental sanitation. This is because the parameters (e.g. presence of Houseflies in vending site) are negative in this case.

Ethical considerations

Ethical clearance was obtained from Ethical and Scientific Committee of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria. Permission was obtained from Primary Health Care (PHC) Departments of Sabon Gari LGA and a signed or thumb printed (as the case may be) written consent was obtained from every respondent before data collection. The confidentiality of their identity and the information given was assured. Any participant who did not consent to participate in the study was excluded.

Limitation

Respondents awareness of being observed could have made them to do better in some practices (Hawthorne effect).


  Results Top


A total of 109 out of 114 respondents were interviewed using interviewer administered questionnaire and an observation checklist was used to assess personal hygiene and vending sites of the Street food vendors, giving a response rate of 95.6%. The results obtained were as follows: most of the street-food vendors were within the age group 35-44 years (40.4%), were female (68.8%) and married (69.7%). Many of the street-food vendors did not attain more than the primary level of education (35.8%) and only 14 (12.8%) of respondents operate permanent or stationary street-food vending. Most (49.5%) of the people who patronized the street-food vendors in the study area were passers-by and majority of the street-food vendors operate under a shade (50.5%). All (100.0%) the street-food vendors in the study area had not receive training on personal and food hygiene [Table 1]. About 46 (42.2%) of the street-food vendors were observed to have good food hygiene, and poor food hygiene was observed among 53 (48.6%) of the street-food vendors [Table 2]. More than half of the street-food vendors 55 (50.4%) had poor personal hygiene and only 9 (8.3%) of them had good personal hygiene [Table 3]. Majority 73 (67.0%) of the street-food vendors had a fair environmental sanitation status around their vending sites and 27 (24.8%) had good environmental sanitation status around their vending sites [Table 4]. In the study area, 106 (97.2%) of the food vending sites were observed to have a space where customers could sit and eat. Also 103 (94.5%) and 100 (91.7%) of the food vending sites had chairs/benches where customers could sit to eat and cooking spot separated from the serving area respectively [Figure 1].
Table 1: Socio-demographic characteristics of street-food vendors in Sabon Gari LGA

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Table 2: Food hygiene among street-food vendors in the study LGA

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Table 3: Personal hygiene among street-food vendors in the study LGA

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Table 4: Environmental sanitation status of food vending sites in the study LGA

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Figure 1: Features of vending sites for the Street-food vendors in the study area

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  Discussions Top


Socio-demographic characteristics of street-food vendors showed that majority of the street-food vendors in Sabon Gari LGA were aged less than 40 years (54.2%), This finding is similar to studies carried out in Ghana and India where it was found that majority of street-food vendors were aged less than 40 years (70.0%) and (60.3%) respectively.[8],[9] In this study, most of the respondents were female (68.8%) in the study area. This is similar to a study in Ghana where all (100%) the street-food vendors were female, but in contrast to the study in India where majority of the vendors were male (97.4%).[8],[9] Tomlins reported that in several African countries, street food vendors are frequently women in 70-90% of cases.[10] Most of the street-food vendors were married (69.7%), 69.7% had received formal education (up to secondary level) and majority (57.8%) had spent more than 5 years in the profession. This is also similar to the studies in Ghana and India, where 59.7% and 80.1% had received formal education respectively, and 69.5% had spent more than 5 years in the profession.[8],[9] However, Jacob reported from U.K that street-food vendors are often poor and uneducated and lack appreciation for safe food handling.[11]

Most (49.5%) of the people who patronized the street-food vendors in Sabon Gari were passers-by, and majority (50.5%) of the street-food vendors operate under a shade in the area. However, a study in Ghana showed that 94.9% of the customers were workers and majority of the vending sites were the open-air type.[8] WHO has recognized that there are differences in the places where street foods are prepared and can be broadly grouped as follows: food prepared in small-scale food factories or traditional workshops, food prepared in the home, food prepared in markets and food prepared on the street. These categories reflect a growing difficulty to provide adequate infrastructure and environmental hygiene to ensure the safe production of food.[12],[13] All (100.0%) of the street-food vendors in Sabon Gari area had not received any form of training on personal and food hygiene. This is contrary to what was reported in a study conducted in Darlington as 21.9% has formal training, 10.7% no formal training and the remaining food handlers has combination of formal and informal training.[14] It is important to remember that knowledge may be markedly influenced by other factors other than formal training, experience, common sense, and a positive attitude towards hygiene may all be important in some cases.[15]

In the study area, (98.3%) of the street-food vendors had inadequate knowledge of food and personal hygiene while (32.3%) of street-food vendors had adequate knowledge. This is much higher than levels of knowledge (30.8%) and (57.0%) found among street food vendors in Ghana and India respectively.[8],[9] Level of food hygiene understanding is often judged to be good, suggesting that the lack of an appropriate infrastructure is the principal cause of the problem.[15] Mahon and co-workers in Guatemala found that street-food vendors 'demonstrated good knowledge of food safety, but unsafe practices' and work in the Philippines identified a significant gap between knowledge and practice that was primarily attributed to the tendency of vendors to compromise food safety for financial reasons.[16] More than 90% of street-food vendors were observed to have positive attitude toward all the statements favoring personal hygiene and most of the statements favoring food hygiene at the baseline. This was in conformity with some earlier observations by Angelillo in Italy.[17],[18] Traditional and social desirability of these hygienic practices may have influenced the street-food vendors and resulted in these high figures.

About (42.2%) of the street-food vendors were observed to have good food hygiene in the study area. Street foods are generally prepared and sold under unhygienic conditions, with limited access to safe water, sanitary services, or garbage disposal facilities. Therefore, street foods pose a high risk of food poisoning due to microbial contamination, as well as improper use of food additives, adulteration and environmental contamination.[19] Personal cleanliness covers washing and drying hands on a regular basis, not wearing jewelry or false nails that could contaminate foodstuff, and dressing wounds appropriately. Smoking, spitting, eating and drinking are prohibited in food preparation areas. Food handlers are under a general obligation to keep fingernails short and clean, and behave in a manner that will not spread microbes e.g. by licking fingers, biting nails or touching the nose, etc. Protective clothing protects food from the street-food vendor rather than vice versa and must be won in areas where open high-risk food is being handled. It should be clean, durable and light colored. Protective clothing can be a source of bacterial contamination and should therefore be kept clean. However, clothes can be a source of physical contamination by shedding fibers, and due to removal of buttons and other fasteners.[20],[21] Food vendors can be a source of food contamination and facilitators of cross-contamination. Personal Hygiene of food vendors is extremely important in the prevention of food poisoning, which is principally associated with cleanliness of the hands.[22]

There was good environmental sanitation observed at food vending site among (24.8%) of the street-food vendors. Several factors are known to favor the occurrence of food borne diseases during food handling processes, which includes poor personal and environmental hygiene and improper food storage.[23] Majority (96.0%) of the street-food vendors with formal education had good environmental sanitation of vending sites. However, there was no significant statistical association between educational status of Street food vendors and the environmental sanitation observed in and around their vending sites during the study (P ≤ 0.05). Studies conducted in Ethiopia indicated that poor sanitary conditions of food establishment such as lack of cleanliness, inadequate sanitary facilities, and improper waste management were common factors affecting food safety in food establishments.[24],[25],[26]

In the study area, (97.2%) food vending sites were observed to have a space where customers could sit and eat. Also (94.5%) and (91.7%) food vending sites has chairs/benches where customers could sit to eat and cooking spot separated from the serving area respectively. Food contamination can occur at any point during its journey of production, processing, distribution and preparation bringing to bear the importance of hygiene and sanitary condition of food premises a vital public health tool in preventing occurrence and spread of food borne diseases.[27],[28],[29] Poor environmental sanitation and disregard for hygienic measures on the part of street food vendors are some key factors in the transmission of food borne diseases.[30]

The findings of this study will help policy makers to come up with regulations on the nature of personal hygiene needed by all street-food vendors that are vending food in the LGA and beyond. It will also assist the LGA health staff supervising or conducting inspection of street-food vendors on what to look out for during the inspection activities.


  Conclusion Top


Most of the street-food vendors had poor personal hygiene, however majority had a fairly good environmental sanitation status around their vending sites. Formal training on personal hygiene should be conducted among all street-food vendors in the LGA in order to improve on their personal hygiene practice for the vending of safe food to their consumers so as to prevent foodborne disease outbreaks.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
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Jacob, M. Safe Food Handling – A Training Guide for Managers of Food Service Establishments. Geneva: WHO; 1989.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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