A study of personal hygiene among food handlers in Panaji city, Goa

Saili S. Pradhan, Jagadish A. Cacodcar, Nikhil S. Akarkar


Background: Food is an elementary requirement for human survival. Food handlers are essential components in the link between the environment of cooking food and the prepared or served food. Food handlers with poor personal hygiene employed in food establishments could be likely sources of infection. Hence this study was undertaken to evaluate the personal hygiene among various food handlers in the city of Panaji, Goa.

Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out among 227 study participants in 12 food establishments registered under corporation of city Panaji for duration of 18 months (September 2015 to February 2017). Sampling was done by stratified random sampling.

Results: Out of the 227 food handlers, only 65 (28.6%) of the study participants used head caps while cooking. Only 70 (30.8%) had clean nails at the time of examination. As per the scale of scoring it was observed that majority i.e. 112 (49.4%) had fair personal hygiene, 77 (33.9%) had poor personal hygiene and only 38 (16.7%) had good personal hygiene. There was significant statistical association between the personal hygiene of the study participants and the training received in food safety.

Conclusions: Personal hygiene levels among the food handlers were found to be sub-standard indicating essentiality of creating awareness among the food handlers regarding importance of maintaining good personal hygiene and food hygiene.


Food handlers, Personal hygiene

Full Text:



Mohan V, Mohan U, Lakshman D, Manohar L. An evaluation of health status of food handlers of eating establishments in various educational and health institutions in Amritsar city. Indian J Community Med. 2001;26(2):80–4.

WHO. Food safety: What you should know. New Delhi: WHO; 2015: 3- 27.

Tjoa Ws Dupont HL, Sullivan P, Pickering LK, Holguin AH, Olarte J. Location of food consumption and travellers diarrhoea. Am J Epidemiol. 1977;106:61–6.

WHO. WHO’s first ever global estimates of foodborne diseases. World Health Organization; 2015. Available at: centre/news/releases/2015/foodborne-disease-estimates/en/. Accessed on 9 December 2015.

Sharif L, Obaidat MM. Food Hygiene Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of the Food Handlers in the Military Hospitals. Food Nutr Sci. 2013;4:245–51.

Gaur KL, Soni SC, Rajeev Y. Community Medicine Practical Guide and log book. 1st ed. New Delhi: CBS publishers; 2014: 20.

Singh A, Chaudhary V, Agarwal K, Joshi HS, Narula K, Chandra R. Study of sociodemographic characteristics and awareness about personal hygiene among the food handlers. Int J Med Sci Public Heal. 2015;4(9):2–7.

Deshpande JD, Phalke D. The sanitary condition of Food Establishments and Health status and personal hygiene among Food handlers in a rural area of Western Maharashtra. Asian J Med Sci. 2013;4(2):23–9.

Dudeja P, Singh A, Kaur S. Food safety implementation from farm to fork. New Delhi: CBS publishers; 2016: 297-302.

Ministry of Health and Family welfare (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Notification New Delhi. Available at: Portal/0/Pdf/Food safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food business) regulation, 2011.pdf. Accessed on 29 December 2016.

Mudey AB, Kesharwani N, Gargi AB, Goyal RC, Dawale AK, Wagh VV. Health Status and Personal Hygiene among Food Handlers Working at Food Establishment around a Rural Teaching Hospital in Wardha District of Maharashtra, India. Glob J Health Sci. 2010;2(2):198–206.

Takalkar AA, Kumavat AP. Assessment of Personal Hygiene of Canteen workers of Government Medical College and Hospital, Solapur. Natl J Community Med. 2011;2(3):2–5.

Ansari MA, Khan Z. An Evaluation of Health Education Intervention on Hygienic status of food handlers in Aligarh - A three years experience. J community Med Heal Educ. 2012;2(4):1000142.

Kulkarni P, Masthi N. Personal hygiene and health status of food handlers in a Medical college Hostel, Bangalore. Karnataka J Community Heal. 2010;21(1):1–8.