Hygienic and Sanitary Practices of vendors of Street Foods in Nairobi Kenya.
The street food industry has an important role in the cities and towns of many developing countries in meeting the food demands of the urban dwellers. It feeds millions of people daily with a wide variety of foods that are relatively cheap and easily accessible. Street food sector symbolizes the street life in Africa and it operates in an unstable and precarious state because the sector lacks legal recognition. There have been noticeable increases of food vendors in Nairobi, who sell both raw and cooked food items. There are not regulated, they operate haphazardly without any monitoring of what they prepare and how they do it. A study to determine hygienic and sanitary practices of vendors of street foods in Nairobi was carried out using a descriptive survey design. A sample size of 80 street food vendors selling commonly consumed foods was selected. Data was collected using in-depth interview schedules and observation checklists. Information from the study shows that vendors lacked training on food preparation. About 62% obtained food preparation skills through observation while 33% were taught by their parents in non-formal settings. The preparation surfaces used for the preparation of raw foods were not washed regularly. Cooked foods were stored at ambient temperature in cupboards, plastic bowls, jugs and buckets were just left in the open uncovered. Eighty-five per cent of the vendors had garbage and waste bins beside the food stalls. Personal hygiene was not also observed, as the vendors never covered their heads, handled money and food at the same time and they did not wear overcoats/aprons and handled food with bare hand. Street food vendors were not aware of hygienic and sanitary practice. The food is sold to unsuspecting clients who are likely to get food-borne diseases. This study recommends the establishment of street food centres by the city council, the training of street food vendors on hygiene, sanitation and the establishment of code of practice for the street food industry and the empowerment of Public Health Officers