Awareness of Food Hygiene Practices and Practices among Street Food Vendors in Nasarawa State, Nigeria
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Background: Street vended foods are booming businesses in developed and developing countries as most people opt for street foods. This is mainly due to cost and convenience. Food handling practices have been associated with food safety. Where food safety is compromised, food borne illnesses are likely to occur. Objective: This study sought to investigate the level of awareness on hygiene and the respective food handling practices among street food vendors in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Materials and methods: This study used a cross-sectional descriptive survey with a target population of 410 food vendors in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Data was collected using questionnaires. Correlation between food vendors‟ level of awareness and hygiene practices was done using chi-square. Results: Results show that majority of vendors (42.1%) were in the middle age group between 26 to 35 years. The female vendors were more than their male counterparts. Majority of vendors were married (53.4%) and were secondary graduates (56.7%). Majority (42.4%) had been in business for1- 5 years. About 70% of the vendors engaged in business to earn income. Only 29.7% persons admitted to having had training on food handling and hygiene. Half of the vendors (50.9%) had license for operation. Conclusion: The study concludes that few vendors are aware of hygienic practices mainly due to lack of training. For they that were aware, few practiced. The level of awareness on hygienic practices correlates with the practices adopted by the vendors. This study recommended that vendors be trained on environmental, food and personal hygiene.