Microbiological safety assessment of food handlers in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria
This study was conducted to investigate the bacteriological safety levels of food handlers in Wudil Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State, Nigeria. A total of 200 hand-swab samples were collected from different male [100 (50%)] and female [100 (50%)] food handlers/peddlers in the study area. From these samples, 200 non-duplicate bacterial isolates consisting of strains of Salmonella typhi [60 (30%)], Salmonella choleraesuis [52 (26%)], Proteus mirabilis [10 (5%)], Morganella morganii [10 (5%)], Pseudomonas aeruginosa [10 (5%)], Escherichia coli [18 (9%)] and Staphylococcus aureus [40 (20%)] were isolated. A significant proportion (33.3%) of the food handlers sampled was children within the age range of 8-12 years. In addition, only 33.5% of the food handlers had basic level of primary education and a majority (96.5%) of the food handlers displayed poor levels of personal hygiene, especially with regards to safe food handling. S. typhi, S. cholaeresius and S. aureus were found to be the common bacterial species that colonized the hands of food handlers/peddlers in Wudil LGA, Kano State. This highlights a lack of food safety and the resulting risk of spreading foodborne diseases in the area. In addition, low literacy levels and lack of safe food handling practices contribute to the prevalence of these pathogens among the food handlers. It is important for food handlers to obtain training on safe food practices, undergo periodic health checks and practice proper hand hygiene.
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