Original Article
Biotechnol Ind J, Volume: 13( 6)

Food Safety Knowledge and Hygiene Practice of Street Vendors in Mekong River Delta Region

*Correspondence:
Nguyen Phuoc Minh Faculty of Food Technology-Biotech, Dong A University, Da Nang City, Vietnam
Tel: +82 51-200-6114; E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: December 11, 2017 Accepted Date: December 22, 2017 Published Date: December 26, 2017

Citation: Minh NP. Food Safety Knowledge and Hygiene Practice of Street Vendors in Mekong River Delta Region. Biotechnol Ind J. 2017;13(6):156

Abstract

Street food vending is a common feature of most cities and towns in developing countries. Hygienic conditions are frequently not ideal, and may result in microbial contamination and foodborne diseases. Our research focused on evaluation of food safety knowledge and hygiene practice of street vendors in Mekong river delta region, Vietnam. Our results showed that only 54.4% of street vendors reaching the food safety condition. Meanwhile, the infrastructure with 67.9% and document with 73.1% were recorded. Most of street vendors had knowledge of food safety with 73.0%. Whereas, group of food selection and preservation ability acquired with 83.5%; group of general knowledge about food safety acquired with 55.8%. Regarding to handling, street vendors had hygiene practice with 98.5%, the maid had 98.5% and personal hygiene had the lowest percentage with 33.1%.

Keywords

Food safety; knowledge; Hygiene practice; Street vendor; Mekong delta region

Introduction

Street food trading solves major social and economic problems in developing countries through the provision of ready-made meals at relatively inexpensive prices and employment for teeming rural and urban populace along its value chain [1]. Street food vending activities in most developing countries are mostly outside the regulation and protection of the governments. The economic importance of the activities is not well appreciated due to the informal nature of the enterprise and lack of official data on volume of trade involved [2]. Hiemstra et al. [3] also mentioned the significant contribution of microbusinesses made up largely of street food sector to the economy of Vietnam. These activities have been reported to pose serious concerns over the safety of the practitioners, especially the health of the consumers [4].

There were several studies mentioned to food safety of street vendor. A survey on food safety knowledge and practices of street food vendors from a representative urban university campus in Quezon City, Philippines was done [5]. Samapundo et al. [6] determined the food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices of vendors and consumers of street food in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In general, consumers and vendors exhibited average food safety knowledge and attitude levels. Gender, training, level of education and location did not have a significant effect (p<0.05) on the level of food safety knowledge of the consumers. Vendors were determined to have higher levels of food safety knowledge than consumers, whilst trained vendors had better food safety knowledge and attitudes compared to untrained vendors. The majority of vendors and consumers were aware of the importance of washing hands and proper cleaning with regards to the prevention of foodborne diseases. Muyanja et al. [7] investigated 225 street food vendors to assess risk factors, practices and knowledge with respect to food safety and hygiene. Mobile food vendors in Bronx County, NY were interviewed [8]. Majority of vendors (75% of those responding) felt most comfortable speaking Spanish; 5% preferred other non-English languages. Nearly a third of vendors changed selling locations (streets, neighborhoods, boroughs) day-to-day or even within a given day. Fiona H. McKay et al. [9] investigated the hygienic practices of food vendors and the context of their socioeconomic and living circumstances. Structured interviews were conducted with 31 street food vendors in Patna, India. The interviews explored issues around vending, hygiene practices, planning, and financial stability. Findings from this study indicate that food vendors are aware of good basic hygiene practices despite having low levels of literacy, low incomes, and limited job security. Cortese [10] assessed the compliance of street foods sold in an urban center in a major capital of Brazil with international standards for food safety and to provide data that could be used for the elaboration of specific legislation to ensure the safety of street food. Asiegbu et al. [11] conducted a survey of the food safety knowledge and microbial hazards awareness of consumers of ready-to-eat street-vended food. The objective of this study was to determine the food safety knowledge based on microbial hazard awareness of street food consumers in the Johannesburg municipality, South Africa. Kothe et al. [12] evaluated the microbiological quality and sanitary conditions of hot dog vendors of Southern Brazil. Results demonstrated that 75% of the hot dogs were contaminated with total coliforms, 30% of them presented fecal coliforms while 25% coagulase-positive staphylococci levels above the maximum limit permitted by Brazilian regulations.

Our surveillance focused on investigation of food safety knowledge and hygiene practice of street vendors in Mekong river delta region, Vietnam. It’s believed that this study would contribute the important data for the governmental agencies in policy planning.

Materials and Methods

Research scope

We focused on a survey of food safety condition by street vendors located in the Mekong delta, Vietnam. Samples were the street vendors (SVs) via interview. Total of 340 and 1040 street vendors were selected for this surveillance (knowledge and hygiene practice as equivalent).

Research method

Method of sampling: We carried out the observation of food safety condition and personal hygiene of street vendors. A master check list was also prepared to interview some general information, knowledge and hygiene practice of street vendors (SVs). Cross-sectional assessment of food street vendors through direct observations and brief interviews was conducted.

Statistical analysis: After receiving raw data, we continued doing the statistical analysis via SPSS software to perform the descriptive analysis by frequency.

Results and Discussion

Food safety condition of street vendor trollies (SVTs)

From Table 1, we noticed that the scale of supplying meal under 200 units accounted for 81.5% and over 200 units accounted for 17.6%. Regarding to type of street vendor business, the company accounted for 11.8% and private household accounted for 82.2%. Meanwhile, the SVs having the food safety approval accounted for 54.4%.


Number Variable Frequency Percentage %
1 Scale of street vendor business Below 200 meals 277 81.5
≥ 200 meals 62 18.2
2 Type of business Company 43 12.6
Household 298 87.6
3 License of food safety approval Yes 185 54.4
No 153 45.0

Table 1. General information street vendor trollies (n=340).

From Table 2, we saw the SVTs having dustbin, cooking table, hand wash basin, dish wash basin with 100% acceptance. Among other criteria, they ranged from 70.3% to 99.4%.

Description Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
Location of street vendor trollies (SVTs) 297 87.4
Structure and arrangement of SVTs 239 70.3
Material of SVTs 302 88.8
Dustbin 338 99.4
Surrounding environmental hygiene 311 91.5
Cooking table 340 100.0
Pest control 297 87.4
Hand wash basin 239 70.3
Dish wash basin 302 88.8

Table 2. Food safety condition of street vendor trollies (n=340).

From Table 3, we realized that 100% of variables were acquired the food hygiene requirement.

Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
Food processing utensil 340 100
Appropriated utensil to store clean raw material 340 100
Barrel to store clean water 340 100
Utensil of cuisine: Cup, bowl, dish, spoon, chop stick 340 100
Portable water 340 100

Table 3. Hygiene condition of cooking utensil (n=340).

From Table 4, we saw that 100% of SVTs meeting the food safety requirement regarding to raw food material. Other criteria such as water source, equipment for preservation and food additives for preservation reached 96.5% to 97.9% of acceptance.

Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
Water source 328 96.5
Raw food material 340 100.0
Equipment for preservation 331 97.4
Food additives for preservation 333 97.9

Table 4. Hygiene condition in food production and preservation (n=340).

From Table 5, we noticed the document record met 74.1% of acceptance. Meanwhile the contract of raw food supplier reached 70.3% of acceptance.

Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
Document record to track the raw food origin and sample keeping in 24 hours 252 74.1
Contract of raw food supplier 239 70.3

Table 5. Document record (n=340).

From Table 6, we noticed that 99.1% of the SVTs having the equipment and tool suited for food safety. Other criteria such as infrastructure, hygiene condition in production and preservation, document records were reached 67.9%, 90.0% and 56.5% in equivalent (Figure 1).

biotechnology-trollies-meeting

Figure 1: Ratio of street vendor trollies meeting the food safety requirement (n=340).

No Food safety condition Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Infrastructure 231 67.9
2 Equipment and tool 337 99.1
3 Hygiene condition in production and preservation 306 90.0
4 Document record 192 56.5

Table 6. General evaluation about food safety condition of the SVTs (n=340).

From the summary of 4 criteria of food safety in SVTs, we realized that ratio of SVTs acquired the food safety requirement was 56%, and non-acceptance was 44%.

Knowledge and hygiene practice of street vendors

General information: There were 1040 street vendors in this research. From Table 7, we clearly noticed that 70.8% of street vendors over 40 years old; 29.2% of street vendors below 40 years old; 3.1% of male; 96.9% of female; 64.6% of street vendors educated over junior high school; 50.2% of trainning for food processing skill; 51.3% of processing time with more than 5 years; 55.6% of street vendors having food safety trainning with more than 2 times.

Number Variables Description Frequency Percentage %
1 Age (age group) ≤ 40 304 29.2
>40 736 70.8
2 Gender Male 32 3.1
Female 1008 96.9
3 Education ≤ Junior high school 368 35.4
>Junior high school 672 64.6
4 Food processing skill Training 522 50.2
No training 518 49.8
5 Food processing time ≤ 5 years 496 47.7
>5 years 544 52.3
6 Food safety training <2 times 462 44.4
≥ 2 times 578 55.6

Table 7. General information of the street vendors (n=1040).

Knowledge about food safety of street vendors

From Table 8, we noted that the general knowledge of food safety was accepted for 56%.

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Concept of food safety 983 94.5
2 Reason of contaminated food 897 86.3
3 Effect of contaminated food 134 12.9
4 Knowledge about the reason of contaminated food 457 43.9
5 Insect harmful to food 644 61.9
6 Critical control point 922 88.7
7 Reason caused the contaminated food (n=920) 638 61.3
Evaluation on general knowledge about food safety of street vendors 582 56.0

Table 8. General knowledge about food safety of street vendors (n=1040).

From Table 9, we noticed the percentage of street vendors having knowledge of food selection and preservation was quite high (83.5%).

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Available information on packaged product label 294 28.3
2 Way of fresh meat selection 695 66.8
3 Way of fresh fish selection 562 54.0
4 Way of fresh egg selection 968 93.1
5 Way of fresh vegetable selection 1040 100.0
6 Way of food preservation in refrigerator 1026 98.7
7 Way to treat with left food 1040 100.0
8 Duration of food usage 1014 97.5
Evaluation about food selection and preservation of street vendors 868 83.5

Table 9. Knowledge about food selection and preservation of street vendors (n=1040).

From Table 10, we noticed the percentage of street vendors having awareness of the governmental regulation on food safety was rather high (74.3%) (Figure 2).

biotechnology-general-evaluation

Figure 2: General evaluation on food safety of street vendors (n=1040).

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 No infectious disease of street vendors 344 33.1
2 Way to treat the infectious disease 1015 97.6
3 Duration of food keeping 968 93.1
4 Location for announcement of food poisonous case 987 94.9
5 Food samples, infectious samples should be kept in case of food poison. 785 75.5
6 Regulated document about food safety 466 44.8
Evaluation on the awareness of the governmental regulation on food safety of street vendor 773 74.3

Table 10. Knowledge of governmental regulation about food safety of the street vendor (n=1040).

After summarizing variables of knowledge including 21 variables, we realized that numbers of accepted answers about food safety about 73.0%.

Hygiene practice about food safety of the street vendors

From Table 11, we recognized that personal hygiene practice of street vendors was quite low (33.1%).

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Costumes during processing and catering 508 48.8
2 Training course about food safety 812 78.1
3 Health check 853 82.0
4 Shit analysis 677 65.1
5 Dedicated costumes 478 46.0
6 Nails 892 85.8
7 Jewelry 981 94.3
8 Hand wash 658 63.3
Evaluation about personal hygiene of street vendor 344 33.1

Table 11. Personal hygiene practice of the street vendors (n=1040).

From Table 12, we saw the percentage of food safety practice of street vendors was rather high (95.4%).

Number Variable Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Processing flow chart 923 88.8
2 Way of vegetable washing 1040 100.0
3 Way of using frozen foodstuff 975 93.8
4 Location for food primary treatment 988 95.0
5 Document record for food reception 1014 97.5
Evaluation about food safety practice of street vendors 992 95.4

Table 12. Food safety practice of street vendors (n=1040).

From Table 13, our result showed that percentage of hygiene practice of food preservation was rather high (98.5%).

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Way to keep cooked food 1017 97.8
2 Food distribution 1040 100.0
3 Way of using tool for food distribution 1040 100.0
4 Way to keep food for age group 1040 100.0
5 Using of food scraps for next day 1040 100.0
6 Way to treat food scraps 1040 100.0
7 Food keeping 985 94.7
8 Location for food keeping (n=990) 982 94.4
Evaluation about hygiene practice of food preservation 1020 98.5

Table 13. Food hygiene practice about food preservation of street vendors (n=1040).

From Table 14, percentage of hygiene practice of street vendors was 98.5% (Figure 3).

biotechnology-street-vendors

Figure 3: General evaluation of hygiene practice of street vendors (n=1040).

Number Variables Acceptance
Frequency Percentage %
1 Kitchen cleaning 1040 100.0
2 Dustbin 1025 98.6
3 Time of garbage disposal 1018 97.9
Evaluation about hygiene practice of kitchen cleaning, garbage of street vendors 1024 98.5

Table 14. Hygiene practice about kitchen cleaning, garbage of street vendors (n=1040).

After summarizing 24 variables of hygiene practice, we decided that percentage of acceptance would be 72%.

Conclusion

Controlling and ensuring the safety of street-vended foods in many countries is a challenge considering that these foods are often less expensive and readily available. We successfully established an investigation about food safety of street vendors in Mekong river delta, Vietnam. Regarding the knowledge, we divided it into three groups (general awareness, food selection and preservation, governmental regulation). In respect of hygiene practice, we divided it into four groups (personal hygiene, production, preservation, kitchen and garbage cleaning). All data were summarized by the descriptive analysis with frequency, percentage of each group.

References