A food safety behaviour based approach to hygiene and safety-related practices – Application to the street food sector in Ecuador.

Project: PhD

Project Details


Foodborne diseases are also one of the causes of morbidity and mortality in Ecuador (PAHO, 2016). The Ministry of Health reported cases of foodborne diseases in 2018 (MSP, 2019b). The consumption of street food by the population is increasing by the rhythm of life and work schedules. Traditional methods of preparation and distribution, inadequate temperatures and times, and improper personal hygiene of food handlers are regarded as the possible sources of contamination that compromise the safety of street food (El Comercio, 2017, 2019). Seeking to minimize these risk factors, the government improved the conditions of spots rented for street food vending within municipal markets of different cities in recent years. However, street food vendors do not have to meet specific requirements regarding the control of hygiene practices (Lawrence & Castro, 2006). The National health control and surveillance regulation agency of the country has developed with the municipalities a health education program for street food vendors in the last few years. However, the current food safety training addresses issues in general without specifying the conditions of the street food sector. Training programs based on theoretical aspects are useful to increase knowledge, but not for changing the behaviour of street food vendors (da Cunha, Stedefeldt, & de Rosso, 2014). The application of the theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) can help to craft effective food safety education and develop practical strategies for street food vendors to improve their safety and hygiene-related behaviour. Hence, the research aims to develop scientifically underpinned tools based on the theory of planned behaviour to improve street food vendors' hygiene practices in Ecuador. underpinned tools based on the theory of planned behaviour to improve street food vendors' hygiene practices in Ecuador. The specific research questions are: 1. What is the current state of the control measures regarding the hygiene and safety-related activities in the street food sector? 2. How to develop tools to assess hygiene and safety-related practices in the street food sector based on behavioural theories? 3. To what extent do the potential factors differ that influence hygiene and safety-related practices among different municipal markets? 4. What kind of interventions based on behavioural theories could enhance hygiene and safety-related practices of the street food vendors? 5. What are the recommendations for the government to support behavioural changes of the street food vendors?
Effective start/end date4/03/19 → …


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