Background of the Study
Food is anything which when taken into the body serves to nourish or build up the body tissues or to supply body health (Nurses Dictionary 2010).
Man is made up of what he eats. The constituents of food which are proteins carbohydrates, fats vitamins, minerals, water nourishes the body and makes man healthy and good looking.
These constitutions or nutrients have 3 three major functions to perform in the body.
- Carbohydrates, fats and oils supply energy for activity and warmth
- Protein provides for growth and repair of worn out body tissue.
- Vitamins and minerals help to regulate many complex processes in the body.
Food being an organic substance grows bacteria very easily and so contamination is very easy (Ebede, 2008)
Food hygiene is the conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety of food from production to consumption. Food can become contaminated at any point during
slaughtering or harvesting, processing, storage, distribution, transportation and preparation. (World Health Organization W.H.O 2014.)
Food hygiene may be defined as all conditions and measures necessary during the production storage, distribution and preparation of food to ensure that it is safe, sound, and wholesome and fit for human consumption. Food hygiene deals with the prevention of contamination of food stuff at all stages of its production example from the time the food is produced to the time when it is served for consumption, it involves proper handling of food stuff and drinks, all the utensils and equipment used in the food preparation, service and consumption, as well as the care and treatment of foods known to be contaminated with poisons or pathogenic micro-organisms which have originated from the food materials.
At several points along the chain that is from production to home of the consumers, all those who handle food are of vital importance in food hygiene and safety. A food handler is defined as one who touches the food or the implements of machines with which the food comes in contact with or the material in which the food is packed (Obionu, 2009).
This definition implies that a large population of people who represent potential risk to food can be identified clearly from any screening programme.
Food vendors should be trained and educated on the rules of food hygiene and be made to undergo require medical examination especially for tuberculosis, typhoid and cholera.
Statement Of The Problem
Globally food poisoning is one of the major causes of death. Food poising occurs due to lack of food hygiene and contamination of food. Unhygienic food preparation.
predisposes people to various illnesses such as gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
In developing countries of which Nigeria is one, incidence of food borne diseases poses a serious threat to the lives of individual, families and the community as a whole irrespective of the number of cases involved the problem has been on the increase in Nigeria and Imo-State in particular, evidence by high percentage of hospital admissions as well as emergency cases treated as a result of poor practices of hygiene by persons that handle food for public consumption in Imo-State. This motivated the researcher to wish to ascertain the knowledge and practice of food hygiene among food vendors in Emekuku Owerri market Imo-State.
- Do food vendors understand food hygiene?
- How do food vendors prepare and preserve food?
- What are the sources of water supply used by food vendors?
Objectives of the Study
- To assess the knowledge of food vendors on food hygiene with regards to cooking serving and preserving
- To identify the source of water supply to food vendors
- To ascertain ways by which food vendors preserve left over foods.
Significance of the Study
- The study will help to improve food hygiene practices of food vendors generally.
- It will minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with poor food hygiene by food vendors.
- It will guide the government in the enforcement of the national polices on food hygiene and safety.
- It will determine ways of improving food hygiene practices among food vendors
- It will form a baseline for other researchers who will like to research on similar topic
- It will help other health personnel to know the areas of emphasis during mass enlightenment campaigns of food hygiene.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to food vendors in Emekuku Owerri market Imo-State fifty food vendors were used in the study to ascertain the level of their knowledge and practice of food hygiene
Operational Definition of Terms
Food: Anything when taken into the body serves to nourish or build up the tissues
Hygiene: A condition of practices, such cleanness that is conducive preservation of health.
Food vendors: People that prepare or handle food whether open or packaged in Emekuku market.
Contamination: To make something dirty or dangerous by adding something such as chemical or poison to it.
Knowledge: What food vendors know about food hygiene.
Practice: The way food vendors’ implements food hygiene in Emekuku market.