Assessing compliance with food hygiene requirements among urban and sub-urban classified hotels in Bauchi State, Nigeria
Olaitan, Esther Adebitan
MetadataShow full item record
The hospitality industry being allied with public health through the provision of food and drinks is guided by a number of food safety regulations among which is the Food Safety Act (1990) with the aim of safeguarding consumer health. Studies show however that despite the existence of these regulations and the powers conferred on relevant regulatory bodies to enforce compliance, food hygiene infractions exist amongst hotel operators with all its attendant negative implications. The study aimed at establishing levels of hotels' compliance with food hygiene regulations as well as examining the level of commitment of regulatory agencies in maintaining standards of food hygiene and sanitation in urban and sub-urban classified hotels in Bauchi metropolis through enforcement and supervision. The objectives were based on establishing the level of awareness of the sanitation laws and regulations in Bauchi state by the hotel operators, to determine the level of compliance of hotels to sanitary laws, and find out if regulatory agencies carry out their statutory role of enforcing compliance to sanitation standards effectively. The study was limited to the urban and sub-urban classified hotels in Bauchi metropolis. The diagnostic survey design was adopted and a census population was used for a reliable result. Structured questionnaires were used to elicit information from the sixty-six respondents drawn from the hotels and regulatory agencies strata of the population. Observation checklist was also used to assess premises' sanitary conditions of the hotels. The quantitative data collected was edited, coded and organized into appropriate themes. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Data was described using measures of central dispersion and tendency, frequency distribution tables and percentages. The one-way ANOV A was used to test for differences among the means of, and to analyze the total compliance scores of the eight hotels used for the study as regards all the 24 conditions ·of hygiene and sanitation that the regulatory agencies had scored them, based on a Likert scale with 5 points (5-Very Good, 4-Good, 3-Average, 2-Poor, and IVery Poor). A score between 24 and 56 implied Low Compliance, a score between 57 and 89 implied average compliance and a score between 90 and 120 implied high compliance. Chisquare was used to establish relationship between dependent and independent variables. All the significant tests for the hypotheses were at 95% confidence level (p< 0.05). The study findings were that all the hotel operators in Bauchi are not aware of the National Environmental Health Practice Regulations on food hygiene and sanitation guiding their food business operations, that the level of compliance with hygiene and sanitation regulations were below the average scores of between 57 and 89, and that there was no relationship between enforcement and compliance with sanitation standards in Bauchi. An exploratory analysis of other factors that were responsible for hotels' good practices including compliance with regulations revealed that there is a direct relationship between professional qualification of hotels' units' heads and the hotels good practices. The study recommended an inclusion of and an emphasis on the regulations that guide hotel operations in Bauchi in hospitality courses curricula and a mandatory course on food hygiene and sanitation for prospective hotel entrepreneurs as a prerequisite for obtaining license for all food businesses in Bauchi.