Assessment of food safety knowledge and attitudes of street food consumers in the Kumasi metropolis

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JUNE, 2016
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The street food sector plays an important role in cities and towns of many developing countries contributing economically and helping to meet the food demands of city dwellers. However, there are major health implications that emerge from the consumption of street food. This study employed a cross-sectional design to explore in depth the food safety knowledge and attitudes of consumers regarding street food safety in Kumasi. Consumers from three different suburbs in the Kumasi Metropolis (Krofrom, Aboabo and Ayigya) were conveniently selected to participate in the study. The quota sampling technique was employed to select respondents proportionally as they appeared in the population. Employing the quantitative methods, questionnaire were tools utilized to collect primary data for the study. The data collected was coded, entered, cleaned and analysed using the SPSS software programme. The results showed that majority of the consumers (61.0%) expressed appreciable food safety knowledge. A high percentage of consumers (64.5%) responded positively to the food safety attitude indicators. However the study found that majority of the respondents were ignorant of the process of storing fresh meat in a refrigerator. The bivariate analysis conducted to determine the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics of consumers and their knowledge on food safety revealed that food safety orientation, level of education, marital status, community of residence, and economic status as socio-demographic factors significantly (P< 0.05) related to food safety knowledge. The sex and age of consumers however did not significantly relate to food safety knowledge. The study on this base therefore recommends that Government through the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services should embark on food safety education programmes to inform the general public of the need to ensure good food safety practices. Outreach programmes should be conducted in various communities where people are less likely to have proper knowledge to educate them on food safety. Finally, it is recommended that street food consumers take advantage of the mass media to learn food safety attitude and correspondingly acquire the necessary knowledge regarding food safety.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree in MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (SOCIOLOGY)