Knowledge, attitudes and practices of food hygiene among mobile food vendors in a Nigerian rural settlement


  • Francis Owoicho Aluh Department of Community Medicine, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria
  • Deborah Oyine Aluh Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria



Food hygiene, Knowledge, Attitudes, Rural, Food vendors


Background:  An estimated 2.5 billion people patronize mobile food vendors worldwide. Most vendors however have little or no formal education, which makes them unable to appreciate the most critical food handling practices. Consumers have thus borne the consequences when food is unsafe. This study aims to determine the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice of Food hygiene amongst mobile food vendors in a rural settlement

Methods:It was a cross-sectional descriptive survey among the study population which comprised of mobile food vendors in Orlu Local Government Area in Imo state, Nigeria. Semi-Structured questionnaires written in English were administered to mobile food vendors who could read. For low literates, the interview was conducted in their local dialect by a trained research assistant

Results: Respondents were mainly females (94.1%, n = 192) and between the age of 31 and 40 years (40.2%, n = 82). More than half of the respondents had secondary school education (59.8%,n = 122).The mean percentage knowledge was 78%. Less than half (43.5%, n = 89) of the respondents had an appropriate attitude towards Food hygiene. There was a strong evidence of association (χ2 = 15.582; p = 0.0001) between Knowledge of food hygiene and attitudes towards food hygiene.

Conclusions: Knowledge levels of food safety practices amongst street food vendors in this rural setting was high however, this high knowledge was generally not translated into practice.


FAO.World Hunger Report (2011): High Volatile Price set to Continue. Available at: http://www.fao/news/story/en/item/92495/icode/. Accessed on 29 April, 2014.

Lues J, Rasephei M, Venter P, Theron M. Assessing food safety and associated food handling practices in street food vending. Int J Environ Health Res. 2006;16:319–28.

Akande MO. Food hygiene practices of food vendors in secondary schools in Ilorin. Niger Postgrad Med J. 2003;10:192–6.

Nurudeen A, Lawal A, Ajayi S. A survey of hygiene and sanitary practices of street food vendors in the Central State of Northern Nigeria. J Public Health Epidemiol. 2014;6:174-81.

WHO, 2008. Essential Safety Requirements for Street Vended Foods. Available at: http://www.who. int/foodsafety/publictions/fs_management/en/streetvend.pdf. Accessed on 29 April 2014.

Ashenafi M. Bacteriological profile and holding temperature of ready-to-serve food items in an open market in Awassa, Ethiopia. Trop Geogr Med. 1995;47:1-4.

Bryan F, Teufel P, Riaz S, Roohi S, Qadar F, Malik Z. Hazards and critical control points of vending operations at a railway station and a bus station in Pakistan. J Food Protect. 1992;55:534-41.

Levin CR, Ruel M, Morris S, Maxwell D, Amar-klemesu M, Ahiadeke C. Working Women in an Urban Setting: Traders, Vendors and Food Security in Accra. World Dev. 1999;27:1977-91.

Subratty A, Beeharry P, Chan-Sun M. A survey of hygiene practices among food vendors in rural areas in Mauritius. Nutri Food Sci. 2004;34:203–5.

Chukuezi C. Food safety and hygienic practices of street food vendors in Owerri, Nigeria. Studies in Sociol Sci. 2010;1:50–7.

Omemu A, Aderoju S. Food safety knowledge and practices of street food vendors in the city of Abeokuta, Nigeria. Food Control. 2008;9:396-402.

Mensah P, Yeboah-Manu D, Owusu-Darko K. Street Foods in Accra, Ghana: How Safe are They? Bull World Health Organization Geneva. 2002;80(7):546-54.

Donkor S, Kayang B, Quaye J, Akyeh M. Application of the WHO keys of safer food to improve food handling practices of food vendors in a poor resource community in Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009;6:2833-42.

Bhat R, Waghray K. Profile of street foods sold in Asian countries. In: Simopoulos, AP, Bhat RV, eds. Street foods. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. Basel: Karger. 2000;86:53-99.

Muinde K, Kuria E. Hygienic and sanitary practices of vendors of street foods in Nairobi, Kenya. Afr J Food Agriculture Nutritional Development. 2005;5:1-14.

Afolaranmi T, Hassan Z, Bello D, Tagurum Y, Miner C, Zoaker A, et al. Knowledge and Practice of food safety and hygiene among food vendors in primary schools in Jos, Plateau State, North Central Nigeria. J Med Res. 2015;4:16-22.

Murat B, Azmi S, Gokhan K. The evaluation of food hygiene knowledge, attitudes and practices of food handlers in businesses in Turkey. Food Control. 2006;17:317–22.

Musa O, Akande T. Routine medical examination of food vendors in secondary schools in Ilorin. Niger J Med. 2002;11:9-12.

Nurudeen A, Lawal A, Ajayi S. A Survey of Hygiene and Sanitary Practices of Street Food Vendors in the Central State of Northern Nigeria. J Public Health Epidemiol. 2014;6:174-81.

Bamidele J, Adebimpe W, Adeoye O, Oladele E. Hygiene Practices among Workers in Local Eateries of Orolu Community in South Western Nigeria. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2015;5:235-40.

Out S. Food Hygiene Practices among Food Handlers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. MPH Thesis Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 2014.

Zain M, Naing N. Sociodemographic Characteristics of Food Handlers and Their Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards Food Sanitation: A Preliminary Report. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2002;33:410-7.

Cuprasittrut T, Srisorrachatr S, Malai D. Food Safety Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Food Handlers and Microbiological and Chemical Food Quality Assessment of the Food for Making Merit for Monks in Ratchathewi Distict, Bangkok. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011;2:27-34.

Takalkar A, Kumavat A. Assessment of personal hygiene of canteen workers of Government Medical College and Hospital, Solapur. National J Community Med. 2011;2:448-51.

Iwu A, Uwakwe K, Duru C, Diwe K, Chineke H, Merenu I, et al. Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Food Hygiene among Food Vendors in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. J Occup Environ Med. 2017;5:11-25.

Abdalla M, Suliman S, Bakhiet A. Food safety knowledge and practices of street food-vendors in Atbara City. Afr J Biotechnol. 2009;8:6967-71.

Monney I, Agyei D, Owusu W. Hygienic Practices among Food Vendors in Educational Institutions in Ghana: The Case of Konongo. Foods. 2013;2:282-94.




How to Cite

Aluh, F. O., & Aluh, D. O. (2017). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of food hygiene among mobile food vendors in a Nigerian rural settlement. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 4(11), 4025–4030.



Original Research Articles