Management of street vended food in the Ablekuma Sub-District-a case study

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Street Vending Food in developing countries and Ghana is no exception, has become a major source of concern as a result of the dramatic growth of urban populations. The Street Food Vending provides opportunities for resource-poor groups in urban and pen- urban environments. A feature of the urbanization process has been the development of informal food supply systems. Resource-poor groups have developed livelihood strategies with limited capital assets to meet opportunities in urban areas. This is typified by the increase in ready-to-eat food prepared and sold by Street Vendors in urban areas. Important as these foods are in the food supply industry, Street Vended Foods are recognised as a potential hazard. This may be possible because of chemical and microbiological contamination, which could occur during preparation, packaging and sale. This may lead to food borne diseases. This has stimulated interest in researching into the management of street vended foods in the Ablekuma Sub-metro, Accra as a means of ensuring the safety of street foods. The study was cross-sectional descriptive in nature with respect to Primary and Secondary Data. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected for analysis. Purposive (Convenience) Sampling was used to select five communities in which to collect the data. The Street food vendors were then selected based on some criteria. Structured questionnaires were administered to a sample of 140 respondents (both vendors and consumers). The response rate was 71 %. The condition of the street food environment was also observed. There were also some Key Informant interviews. Secondary data was also collected from various research papers and books from various sources. The study revealed that, there were policies put in place in ensuring the safety of street foods. Nevertheless, the policies were not implemented to the letter due to the burning constraints faced by the institutions that matter in the street food business. The study also showed that, majority 48 (96%) of the respondents were females with either low or minimal level of education. The findings indicated that majority, (over two thirds) of the respondents, involved in the study were knowledgeable about food safety. However, they were unable to put the knowledge into practice because of many factors. Key among them was the lack of basic infrastructure support. This research had also brought to light the unhygienic practices in the street food business by the street food vendors. This may lead to the spread of food borne diseases. It was also observed that, the disposal of garbage and wastewater was generally unsatisfactory. All these imply that more has to be done in the area of street food business in order to ensure public protection and consumer safety.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of in Health Services Planning and Management, 2003