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

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Thwe Moe Phyu Araya Chaoruangrit Patimakorn Pasuwa

Abstract

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.

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