Effectiveness of educational intervention on KAP of food handlers and barriers to implementation of food safety: a cross sectional comparative study
Keywords:Comparative study, Food handlers, Food safety, KAP, Training
Background: With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies globally. World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that the future of food safety is to transform knowledge into action for people and communities. Hence, this study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention package on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) of food handlers and to evaluate the barriers to implementation of food safety.
Methods: This was an educational intervention before and after comparison study. All food handlers employed in food establishments located in the premises of a tertiary care hospital were included in the study. The educational intervention comprised of interactive lectures and documentaries. The responses of the participants were recorded on pre-validated questionnaires and KAP scores were calculated before and after the educational intervention. Chi square test and paired t-test were used to assess statistical significance.
Results: The mean age of food handlers was 38+2 years. Majority were educated up to 12th standard. There was a significant improvement in the KAP scores pre- and post- intervention. Among the barriers recognised in ensuring food safety, the most common were manpower management and absence of basic amenities for hand washing.
Conclusions: The study concludes that while educational intervention has a significant role in improving the KAP of food handlers, a holistic approach in prevention of food borne illnesses should include active participation from the stakeholders and clientele besides providing periodic training to the food handlers.
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