Food safety assessment of food handlers in the canteens of Khon Kaen University

Main Article Content

Thwe Moe Phyu Araya Chaoruangrit Patimakorn Pasuwa


The objective of this study was to assess the safety knowledge (K), attitudes (A), and hygienic practices (P) of canteen food handlers who were preparing foods daily. This research was conducted at Khon Kaen University. The study was divided into four parts: 1) demographic characteristics, 2) food safety knowledge, 3) food safety attitudes and 4) hygienic practice of food handlers. Part 1 to part 3 were accomplished by food handlers throughout the suvery questionnaires. The personal hygiene and handling practices (part 4) of food handlers were observed by the researchers. Ninety food handlers participated in this research. Most of the food handlers were female (75%) whose age ranging between 36-55 (65%). Seventy-five percent of food handlers had experiences of attending the hygienic practices training. The result showed that 55.37% and 68.50% of food handlers were revealed on average levels of knowledge and personal hygiene and handling practices, respectively. Moreover, the good attitude was 77.29%. The correct scores on KAP with gender, age, education and attending hygienic training of food handlers were not significantly different (p>0.05). However, total correct scores on K with A (rs= 0.424, p=0.00) and A with P (rs = 0.207, p=0.05) were significantly different. This study concluded that it is necessary to improve the knowledge of food handlers, because they were not aware of 1) the risk of foodborne pathogens, 2) critical temperature for storing of foods, and 3) the possibility of cross contamination. Effective ongoing training programs for the food handlers must be provided to improve their knowledge and practice. The food handlers must also be encouraged to implement the good hygiene practices to reduce the outbreak of foodborne illness.


Article Details

Research Articles


[1] WHO. World Health Organization. Food Safety Fact Sheet, No 339[internet].2017. [cited 2018 March 17]. Available from:

[2] World Health Organization. WHO’s first ever global estimates of foodborne diseases find children under 5 accounts for almost one third of death. 2015. p. 1-6.

[3] FAO. Foodborne diseases: Situation of diarrheal diseases in Thailand. In FAO/WHO regional conference on food safety for Asia and the Pacific[internet].2004. [cited 2018 February 26]. Available from:

[4] Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Food poisoning outbreak in Thailand: A review on situations. Asian Pac J Trop Dis 2015; 5(S1): S187–S189.

[5] Sharif L, Al-Malki T. Knowledge, attitude and practices of Taif University students on food poisoning. Food Control 2010; 21: 55-60.

[6] Acikel CH. Ogur R, Yaren H, Gocgeldi E, Ucar M, Kir T. The hygiene training of food handlers at a teaching hospital. Food Control 2008;19: 186-190.

[7] Veiros MB, Proenca RPC, Santos MCT, Kent-Smith L, Rocha A. Food safety practices in a Portuguese canteen. Food Control 2009; 14: 339-343.

[8] Sani NA, Siow ON. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of food handlers on food safety in food service operations at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Food Control 2014; 37: 210-217.

[9] Ansari-Lari M, Soodbakhsh S, Lakzadeh L. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of workers on food hygienic practices in meat processing plants in Fars, Iran. Food Control 2010; 21(3): 260–263.

[10] Mcintyre L, Vallaster L, Wilcott L, Henderson SB, Kosatsky T. Evaluation of food safety knowledge, attitudes and self-reported hand washing practices in FOODSAFE trained and untrained food handlers in British Columbia, Canada. Food Control 2013; 30(1): 150–156.

[11] Soares LS, Almeida RCC, Cerqueira ES, Carvalho JS, Nunes IL. Knowledge, attitudes and practices in food safety and the presence of coagulase positive, staphylococci on hands of food handlers in the schools of Camaçari, Brazil. Food Control 2012; 27: 206-213.

[12] Chukuezi CO.. Food safety and hyienic practices of street food vendors in Owerri, Nigeria. Studies in Sociology of Science 2010;1(1): 50–57.

[13] Samapundo S, Climat R, Xhaferi R, Devlieghere F. Food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices of street food vendors and consumers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Food Control 2015; 50: 457-466.

[14] Vo TH, Le NH, Le ATN, Minh NNT, Nuorti JP. Knowledge, attitudes, practices and training needs of food-handlers in large canteens in Southern Vietnam. Food Control 2015; 57: 190–194.

[15] Reboucas LT, Santiago LB, Martins LS, Menezes ACR, Araujo MPN, Almeida RCC. Food safety knowledge and practices of food handlers, head chefs and managers in hotels’ restaurants of Salvador, Brazil. Food Control 2017; 73: 372-381.

[16] Cuprasitrut T, Srisorrachatr S, Malai D. Food safety knowledge, attitude and practice of food handlers and microbiological and chemical food quality assessment of food for making merit for monks in Ratchathewi district, Bangkok. Asia J Public Health 2011; 2(1): 27–34.

[17] Muinde OK, Kuria E. Hygienic and Sanitary Practices of Vendors of Street Foods in Nairobi, Kenya. African Journal of Food Agriculture and Nutritional Development 2005; 5:1-15.

[18] Omemu AM, Aderoju ST. Food safety knowledge and practices of street food vendors in the city of Abeokuta, Nigeria. Food Control 2008; 19: 396-402.

[19] Montville R, Chen Y, Schaffner D. Gloves barriers to bacterial cross contamination between hands to food. J Food Prot 2001; 64: 845-849.

[20] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OPRP-Handwashing guidelines. Atlanta: Georgia, USA: CDC. 2010.

[21] Clark M. What is Salmonella ? Food Poison Journal 2010; 7–8.

[22] Tamarapu S, McKillip JL, Drake M. Development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay for detection and differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus in dairy productst. J Food Prot 2001 ; 64(0362–028X SB–IM): 664–668.

[23] Wieneke AA, Roberts D, Gilbert RJ. Staphylococcal food poisoning in the united kingdom 1969-1990. Epidemiol Infect 1993;110(3): 519–531.

[24] Sneed J, Strohbehn C, Gilmore SA, Mendonca A. Microbiological evaluation of foodservice contact surfaces in Iowa assisted – living facilities. J Am Diet Assoc 2004; 104: 1722-1724.

[25] The University of Rhode Island Coteals. Time/ Temperature Control for Safe Food. 2016.

[26] Akabanda F, Hlortsi EH, Owusu-Kwarteng J. Food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices of institutional food-handlers in Ghana. BMC Public Health 2017; 17(1): 1–9.

[27] Ovca A, Jevšnik M, Kavčič M, Raspor P. Food safety knowledge and attitudes among future professional food handlers. Food Control 2018; 84: 345–353.

[28] Marler Clark. Foodborne Illness[internet].2018. Common bacteria and viruses that cause food poisoning. [cited 2018 June 17]. Available from:

[29] Jemmi T, Stephan R. Listeria monocytogenes: Food-borne pathogen and hygiene indicator. Rev Sci Tech 2006; 25(2): 571–580.

[30] Abdul-Mutalib NA, Abdul-Rashid MF, Mustaf S, Amin-Nordin S, Hamat RA, Osman M. Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding food hygiene and sanitation of food handlers in Kuala Pilah, Malaysia. Food Control 2012; 27: 289-293.

[31] Ko WH. The relationship among food safety knowledge, attitudes and self-reported HACCP practices in restaurant employees. Food Control 2013; 29 (1): 192-197.