Development of a Generic Food Safety Management System for Senior High Schools

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JUNE, 2018
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Lack of personal hygiene among food handlers is one of the most commonly reported practices that contribute to foodborne illness. A cross-sectional study was conducted in selected senior high schools. Questionnaires were designed to elicit information on written policies and procedures on food safety management including procedures for ensuring safety of food brought in by food vendors, procedures for ensuring safety of food prepared in kitchens, procedures for ensuring safety of foods brought from home, procedures on receiving and storing of food, as well as a crisis management plan that details the roles and responsibilities of staff and procedures for accounting for and releasing students in the event of an out-break of a food-borne illness. Only two schools (33.3%) had at least 2 written policies on ensuring food safety, and these policies were on ensuring safety of food brought from home by students and safety of food brought for sale by external vendors. Also, 66.7% of schools did not have an outbreak crisis management plan defining staff roles in an emergency. Though all schools had equipment for food preparation, none had equipment for ensuring food safety such as thermometers. The results of the present study indicate that senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region have limited to no systems in place to manage the safety of food served to students, placing these students at an elevated risk for food-borne diseases. It is recommended that schools be mandated to adopt and implement food safety management programs to safeguard the health and wellness of students.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management.