Food safety knowledge, self-reported hygiene practices, and street food vendors’ perceptions of current hygiene facilities and services - An Ecuadorean case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Street food consumption is growing substantially, particularly in developing countries, but represents a public health risk when street food vendors do not meet the hygiene requirements. This study assessed street food vendors' knowledge about the requirements to produce safe food, their self-reported personal and food hygiene practices, and their perceptions of the currently provided hygiene facilities and services. A two-step study design was applied in Ambato, Ecuador. A validated semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 99 street food vendors at different local markets about their knowledge of hygiene requirements and how frequently they applied them. Face-to-face in-depth interviews with 25 other street food vendors assessed their perceptions of the current hygiene facilities and services at the local markets. Overall, more than two-thirds of the street food vendors were knowledgeable about most personal and food hygiene requirements and self-reported that they always applied these. The in-depth interviews indicated that the street food vendors perceived water supply conditions and sanitary facilities as supporting personal and food hygiene practices. However, they mentioned inadequacies in services such as garbage removal and pest control, which may compromise the safety of street food. Our findings can support decision-making by the local government regarding the allocation of resources for improving services and facilities and tailored training activities to further increase street food safety knowledge and practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109377
JournalFood Control
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Constraints
  • Empirical study
  • Hygiene requirements
  • MAXQDA
  • Opportunities
  • Street food
  • Street food vendors
  • Thematic content analysis

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