Hygienic practices of the street food vendors and microbiological quality of selected cooked street foods in Mombasa island, Kenya
Odundo, Alice Awino
MetadataShow full item record
The street food sector has experienced significant growth in the past few decades due to rapid urbanisation. Despite the economic benefits of the sector, it has been recognized as a potential hazard to public health when food is not prepared and handled hygienically. The objective of this study was to assess the hygienic practices of the street food vendors, isolate and identify food pathogens in particular, Escherichia coli and Salmonella strains. The potential link between food contamination and the risk factors in some selected cooked street vended foods namely, mahamri, beef samosas and mbaazi in Mombasa Island was established. The study adopted a descriptive survey and experimental design. It was carried out in three locations in Mombasa Island namely, Old Town, Mwembe Tayari and Majengo. One hundred vendors were selected using purposive and systematic random sampling. Representative samples of the food items were randomly collected from five vendors in each of the three locations for microbiological analysis. Standard methods from the Bacteriological Analytical Manual of Foods were used to determine coliform counts, total plate counts, and isolate Ecoli and Salmonella strains. Data on the hygienic practises and the risk factors were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions and an observation checklist. Data collected were analyzed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. The techniques used to analyse data were one-way analysis of variance >fNOV A) at 95% level of confidence interval (Cl), t- tests and chi square (X ). The main findings were that, poor hygienic practices was observed among vendors, which were in contrast to the guidelines from the Kenya Foods, Drugs and Chemical Substance Act. These poor hygienic practices were mainly due to lack of basic training in food hygiene. E. coli was isolated in all the 45 food samples tested, though the counts were within the acceptable limits of 10 per g. Salmonella was detected in 8.9% out of the 45 samples tested, which were beef samosas, and this was considered a risk to consumers. Total plate counts and coliform counts were within the acceptable limits. The most notable risk factors that could have led to food contamination were, poor hygienic practices, in particular, use of bare hands to serve food, poor sanitary environment such as waste water sewage and lack of formal education. There was a statistical significant association between . These factors and contamination of food (P<O.05). Mahamri and mbaazi presently sold on the streets in Mombasa Island are safe for consumption, in relation to the pathogens E. coli and Salmonelia. Beefsamosas are a risk to consumers given the percentage that tested positive for Salmonella. The study concluded that production of relatively safe street vended foods that have low bacterial counts could be possible if appropriate measures such as education of the street vendors in food safety risks and food-handling practices are used. Based on these findings, it was recommended that street food vendors should be officially recognised, licensed and included in the urban development programme.