Global Advanced Research Journal of Social Science (GARJSS)
September 2012 Vol. 1(4), pp. 065-071
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Food hygiene practices and prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers working in Mekelle university student’s cafeteria, Mekelle

Daniel Nigusse1 and Abera Kumie2

1Mekelle University, Public Health Department, P.O. Box.1871, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:,; Tel +2510911914958

Accepted 28 May, 2012


An adequate supply of safe and wholesome food is essential to the health and well-being of humans. Reports indicate that approximately 10 to 20% of food-borne disease outbreaks are due to contamination by the food handlers.  The objective of this study was to assess food handlers practice on food hygiene and describe prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers working in Mekelle University student’s Cafeteria. Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted in student’s cafeteria of Mekelle University in January 2011. A total of 277 food handlers were used to collect data using structured and pre-tested questionnaire. Simple random sampling technique with population proportion to size allocation was used to identify study subjects.  Stool samples of 229 were collected and subjected to microscopic examination to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites through both direct and formol-saline ether sedimentation technique.  The prevalence of intestinal parasites among the study groups was 49.4%. Food handlers working in Ayder campus [AOR: 20.15, 95% CI: (4.40- 91.8)] and having good knowledge on food hygiene [AOR: 3.61, 95% CI: (1.51-8.65] were determinants for the practice of food handlers on food hygiene. The logistic regression analysis result also indicated that utilization of soap during hand washing [AOR: 0.15, 95% CI (0.06-0.38)], washing hands after toilet [AOR: 0.06, 95% CI (0.02-0.14)], practice of medical checkup [AOR: 0.47, 95% CI (0.22-0.97)] and history of de-worming [AOR: 0.25, 95% CI (0.11-0.54)] were determinants for intestinal parasitic infection. There existed poor food hygiene practice among food handlers. The learned behavior did not match with the intended hygienic practice. Hand washing practice after toilet, utilization of soap, medical checkup and de-worming history of the respondents were determinants for intestinal parasite infections. This study also found high prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers. The provision of food safety measures focusing on personal hygiene and periodical medical checkups is highly advised.

Keywords: Food handler, intestinal parasites, protozoa, helminthiasis, and University cafeteria.


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