Food Safety and Hyienic Practices of Street Food Vendors in Owerri, Nigeria
The paper examines the food safety and hygienic practices of street food vendors in Owerri, Nigeria. It argues that although street foods play an important role in meeting the food demands of urban dwellers, there are several health hazards associated with them. The study found that women made up 66.67% of the vendors while males made up 33.33%. The average age group was 31-40 years. 23.81% of the vendors prepared food in unhygienic conditions. 42.86% did not use aprons; 47.62% handled food with bare hands and 52.38% wore no hair covering while 61.90% handled money while serving food. 19.05% wore jewelry while serving food and 28.57% blew air into polythene bag before use. 9.52% of the vendors stored food for serving openly in the stalls while 23.81% stored them in the wheelbarrows. 42.86% had leftovers for serving the next day with poor storage facilities. 47.62% of the vendors washed their utensils with dirty water which is recycled and used severally in 28.57% despite the fact that only 9.52% of them complained of water shortages. Thr paper recommends that there is need for health education of these vendors in order to ensure food safety for the consumers. Keywords: food safety; hygienic; street food; vendors; Owerri Nigeria
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