Assessment of Hygienic conditions of Street Food Vendors and Identification of Hazardous points involved during Street Food Vending
Hygienic conditions of Street Food Vendors
Keywords:Hygiene, Street Food, Vendors, Hazards, Contamination
The provision of safe and nutritious food is a fundamental human right that contributes to good health, efficiency, and provides a foundation for people' sustainable development and poverty reduction. Objectives: To analyze the sanitary conditions of street food sellers and to identify potential hazards during street food vending. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out. Between September and November 2013, 100 street food vendors in three heavily populated neighborhoods of Lahore (Ravi town, Data Ganj Baksh, and Shahdara town) were assessed using a questionnaire and a food safety checklist. For the production of safe street food, hazards were identified along the phases involved in street food selling. The SPSS software was used to analyze the data. Results: 89% of vendors lacked hygiene and proper clothing, and 71% did not wash their hands before food preparation. 36% of vendors were afflicted with various diseases. Only 27% of the vending units were sufficiently clean and well maintained. The biggest concern with unsanitary food served by street food sellers was that only 19% purchased raw items from trusted sources. Only 18% of respondents used separate utensils for raw and RTE food storage, while 49% did not. The presence of fungal growth (26%) indicated the source of food-borne infections. There were six primary points/steps in street food vendors where contamination and hazardous threats existed. Conclusions: Most street foods were found unsanitary and hazardous. The food vendors were mainly ignorant and uninformed about food safety. Basic GHP and HACCP related precautionary measures should be taken.
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