Knowledge and practices regarding food hygiene and health profile of food handlers in eateries in a town in Southern Karnataka

Meera George, Pretesh Rohan Kiran, Sulekha T., Gautham Antony Joseph


Background: A food handler is anyone who works in a food business and handles food, or surfaces that are likely to come into contact with food. The chance of food becoming contaminated depends largely on the health status and knowledge and practices of food safety of food handlers. Current statistics on food borne illnesses in various industrialized countries show that up to 30% of cases may be caused by poor food handling techniques, and by contaminated food served in food service establishments.

Methods: A cross sectional study was undertaken among 150 food handlers working in eateries in Anekal town, Bangalore Urban district, to determine their health profile and assess their knowledge and practices regarding food hygiene. A pre-validated, structured questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge and practices among food handlers. Knowledge and practice scores were categorized to find associations between levels of score and demographic variables.

Results: The mean age of the study subjects was 33.68±12.86 years. Fever and dizziness was reported by 39 (26.6%) of food handlers. Poor knowledge was found in 80 (53.3%) and poor practice in 83 (55.3%) regarding safe food hygiene. An increase in age and education levels showed a positive association with knowledge and practice of safe food hygiene.

Conclusions: Given high levels of poor knowledge and practice regarding safe food hygiene among these food handlers, there is an urgent need to address this issue that may translate into increased morbidity and suffering among populations served by these food handlers.


Food handler, Safe food hygiene, Health profile

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