Hygiene and Status of Microbial Processed Contamination of Minimally Fruits Sold as Street Foods in Nairobi Central Ward
The fruit vending business sector has experienced significant growth in the past few years in Kenya due to population growth and urbanization. Despite the economic benefits ofthis sector, it has also been recognized as a potential hazard to public health especially when food handlers do not practice proper hygiene and sanitation when preparing the fruits. The purpose of this study is to examine the hygiene practices and microbial contamination in fruit vending businesses in Nairobi central ward. The need for this study arises from the lack of evidence of food hygiene practices among fruit vendors, and food microbial contamination levels in minimally processed fruits. The main objectives of the study will be to establish the food hygiene knowledge and practices of the vendors, to establish the hygiene conditions of the preparation and vending environment, and to assess the microbial status of selected minimally processed fruits. The study will utilize a cross sectional analytical study design, and through purposive sampling, 7 clusters in the Central ward will be selected for the study. Simple random sampling will be utilized to collect 51 fruit samples in triplicate in the 7 clusters, and taken to the laboratory for microbial analysis. Total count of bacteria, total coliforms, pH measurement and total yeast and mold count will be measured. Data obtained from the laboratory assessment will be compared to standard values of microbiological counts. Data for the study will be collected from all food handlers in the clusters who will have consented to the study and from the fruit samples that will be collected and taken to the laboratory. Data will be analyzed using (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) SPSS version 20 by use of descriptive and inferential statistics. Results will be presented in pie charts, tables, graphs and percentages. SPSS version 20 and chi-square tests will be used to examine the relationship among and between variables. A structured questionnaire and an observation checklist will be utilized to collect data on food hygiene knowledge and practices, and hygiene conditions of the preparation and vending environment. Information gathered from this study will contribute to a greater understanding of the microbiological and food hygiene problems associated with minimally processed fruits, and how their safety can be improved. The results can also be used to monitor trends, assess risks .in food safety and judge effectiveness of regulation.