Sanitation facilities and practices for street-vended meats at two major highway markets in Uganda
A study on sanitation facilities and practices for vendors of ready-to-eat roasted meat at selected highway markets was conducted. The aim of the study was to establish the status of sanitation in the markets and its effect on the safety of ready-to-eat roasted meat. Recommended conditions for sanitation facilities were assessed in stalls of chicken, beef and goat meat vendors using checklists. Questionnaires were also administered among 180 meat vendors to assess their sanitation practices. A scale of 0- 4 was used to assess the conformity of sanitation facilities where 4=High level conformity, 3=Good conformity, 2=Fair conformity, 1=Low conformity and 0=Nonconformity. Majority (67%) of the sanitation facilities evaluated had average score below 2. Waste management facilities were most deficient to the recommended conditions with a score of 0.85. Better performance was found in most roofs of vending structures (2.93). Over 78% of the stalls assessed did not have waste collection facilities and, therefore, scored 0 denoting non-conformity, 68% of the stalls did not have adequate water and therefore scored 0 denoting non-conformity to conditions of water availability. For shared facilities, toilet/latrine in both markets had an average score of 1.5 denoting a low level of conformity. Both markets scored 0 for waste water disposal facilities denoting non-conformity to the two recommended conditions for waste water disposal facilities, and were therefore non-compliant. The low conformity obtained from the assessment of facilities concurred with results from the assessment of sanitation practices; 67% lacked sufficient knowledge about good sanitation practices, 91% did not sort their wastes, 83% did not have adequate waste handling facilities and therefore they poorly collected their wastes, 76% of the vendors indicated inadequate latrine facilities as one of their sanitation challenges, 73% had inadequate cleaning materials and 70% did not clean their food stuffs. However, majority of vendors (92%) indicated that they clean their premises. Therefore, sanitation facilities and practices in highway markets did not conform to best recommended conditions. This could expose meats to contamination and compromise consumer’s health. Highway food vendors should be trained in proper sanitation practices. Local authorities need to monitor and enforce good sanitation practices.
Keywords: Conformity, Highway markets, Ready-to-eat foods, Sanitation, Meat, Uganda, Practices, Vendors