Cross-sectional study to assess the awareness about personal hygiene and food borne diseases among food handlers in a tertiary care hospital in Puducherry

Mohammed Shareef P. M., R. Prahankumar, Manikandan M., Anil J. Purty


Background: Food handlers play an important role in ensuring food safety throughout the chain of production, processing, storage and preparation. Mishandling and disregard of hygienic measures by food handlers may lead to food contamination and cause illness among the consumers. This study was undertaken to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice towards food-borne diseases and personal hygiene among food handlers in a tertiary care hospital and to assess their morbidity status.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the food handlers working in the food establishments within the campus of Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Puducherry. Total 51 food handlers consented and participated. Participants were explained about the purpose of study and written informed consent was obtained. Data was collected using a pre-tested pre-validated questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. Institutional ethics committee approval was obtained for the study.

Results: Overall the average score for knowledge, attitude and practices was good among the food handlers. There was statistically significant association between the lesser attitude & practice scores and the history of gastrointestinal morbidity among the participants. There was positive correlation between the years of work experience and the mean knowledge, attitude and practice scores.

Conclusions: Although knowledge, attitude and practices of the food handlers working in the tertiary care hospital was good but periodic health education and awareness will contribute in maintaining and reinforcing the existing knowledge and practices so as to prevent any food contamination and potential outbreak of food borne illness.  


Personal hygiene, Food handlers, Food borne diseases, Health education

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