MICROBIAL QUALITY AND SAFETY OF COOKED FOOD SOLD IN SELECTED SCHOOL CANTEENS IN THE AKUAPEM NORTH MUNICIPALITY

ABSTRACT Improving the microbial quality and safety of cooked food in the school canteen is an effective means of reducing the burden of diarrhoeal diseases among school children. Studies across Africa have highlighted that foods sold on streets pose a great health hazard and contribute significantly to morbidity and even mortality among children. The main objective of this study was to determine the microbiological quality and safety of cooked food sold in canteens in some selected schools to ascertain the safety of such foods. The study also aimed at assessing the level of knowledge of food vendors and students on foodborne diseases and food hygiene in the Akuapem North Municipality. The design of the research was cross-sectional descriptive study which involved field survey and laboratory analysis. Simple random and purposive sampling methods were used to select 300 students and 128 food vendors respectively from the 16 schools to answer the questionnaire. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 428 respondents (300 students and 128 food vendors) on their demographic characteristics, knowledge on food hygiene and foodborne diseases. The Codex Alimentarius Commission standard methods for analyzing food samples were used for testing and enumeration of microbes in 288 food samples. Data were analysed using the SPSS (version 16.0) and Microsoft Excel software. The chi squared test was used to determine the relationship between demographic characteristics of food vendors and their knowledge on certain aspects of foodborne diseases. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the relationships among food samples from four school circuits on their mean total microbial contamination. The laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of yeast and moulds, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli and other coliform in most of the foods sampled. Salmonella spp. was only present in fufu, red pepper sauce and vegetable salad. Samples of fufu, vegetable salad macaroni and red pepper recorded mean microbial contamination of 6.4 ± 0.40 log10 cfu/g, 6.5 ± 0.49 log10 cfu/g, 6.3± 0.48 log10 cfu/g and 6.5; ± 0.53 log10 cfu/g respectively in the afternoon. Sausage and fried fish also had mean microbial load of 5.6 ± 0.77 log10 cfu/g and 5.5 ± 0.39 log10 cfu/g respectively. Waakye, iced kenkey, banku and kenkey however recorded relatively acceptable level of microbial presence both in the morning and afternoon in the study area. The results further showed that there were no significant differences (p>0.05) in the total microbial load in the foods sampled in the morning among the four circuits. There were however significant differences (p < 0.05) in the total microbial load in the foods sampled in the afternoon among the circuits. The microbial contaminations among most of the food samples were quite higher in comparison with the acceptable values of Ghana Standard Authority in the afternoon. The study further showed that almost all the food vendors were females with quite high illiteracy rate. Also, majority of the food vendors exhibited little knowledge on food hygiene and foodborne diseases. On the contrary, students exhibited good knowledge on foodborne diseases. It is concluded that food vendors lack adequate knowledge on food hygiene and foodborne disease and hence foods sold in the canteens are predisposed to microbial contamination. Also since students had adequate knowledge on foodborne diseases and food hygiene, they are bound to abstain from practices that could predispose them to foodborne diseases. In addition, the high microbial load found in most of the food implies that cooked food in the school canteens are of low microbial quality especially in the afternoons. It is recommended among others that regular quality checks are conducted by the regulatory authorities to ensure food safety in the school canteens and that School Health Education Programme (SHEP) coordinators be empowered through capacity building to monitor and supervise the activities of the food vendors.

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APA

OWUSU, E (2021). MICROBIAL QUALITY AND SAFETY OF COOKED FOOD SOLD IN SELECTED SCHOOL CANTEENS IN THE AKUAPEM NORTH MUNICIPALITY. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/microbial-quality-and-safety-of-cooked-food-sold-in-selected-school-canteens-in-the-akuapem-north-municipality

MLA 8th

OWUSU, EMMANUEL "MICROBIAL QUALITY AND SAFETY OF COOKED FOOD SOLD IN SELECTED SCHOOL CANTEENS IN THE AKUAPEM NORTH MUNICIPALITY" Afribary. Afribary, 01 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/microbial-quality-and-safety-of-cooked-food-sold-in-selected-school-canteens-in-the-akuapem-north-municipality. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

OWUSU, EMMANUEL . "MICROBIAL QUALITY AND SAFETY OF COOKED FOOD SOLD IN SELECTED SCHOOL CANTEENS IN THE AKUAPEM NORTH MUNICIPALITY". Afribary, Afribary, 01 Apr. 2021. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/microbial-quality-and-safety-of-cooked-food-sold-in-selected-school-canteens-in-the-akuapem-north-municipality >.

Chicago

OWUSU, EMMANUEL . "MICROBIAL QUALITY AND SAFETY OF COOKED FOOD SOLD IN SELECTED SCHOOL CANTEENS IN THE AKUAPEM NORTH MUNICIPALITY" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 18, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/microbial-quality-and-safety-of-cooked-food-sold-in-selected-school-canteens-in-the-akuapem-north-municipality