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Prevalence of <i>Salmonella typhi</i> and intestinal parasites among food handlers in Bahir Dar Town, Northwest Ethiopia.

B Abera
F Biadegelgen
B Bezabih


Background: Food borne diseases are a global public health problem. Food handlers play a major role for the transmission of food borne diseases.
Objectives: This study was aimed at exploring the prevalence of intestinal parasites, S. typhi carrier rate and risk factors among food handlers at Bahir Dar town.
Methods: A cross -sectional survey was conducted among food handlers working in different kitchens. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for collecting data. Stool samples were investigated for intestinal parasites and S. typhi as per the standard laboratory methods.
Results: Among 384 food handlers, females comprised 300 (78%). The majority 371 (96.6%) were young adults (12-40 years). The median year of service was 1 year (1 month to 24 years). All food handlers had no previous medical checkup and 54 (14%) were certified as food handlers. One hundred fifty eight (41.1%) food handlers had intestinal parasites and 6 (1.6%) were found positive for S. typhi. Of these, 25 (6.5%) were suffering from diarrhoea. Nine species of intestinal parasites, 2 protozoa (E. histolytica/dispar 12.76% and G. lamblia 7. 0%) and 7 helminthes (A.
lumbricoides, 11.7%, Hookworm, 8.1%, S. stercoralis, 2.86%, S. mansoni, 1.8%, Taenia species, 1.3%, H. nana, 0.5% and T. trichiuria, 0.5%) were detected.
Conclusion: Inexperienced and poor personal hygienic food handlers play a role for transmission of food borne infections. Local health authorities should implement food handler’s training on food safety, institute periodic focused medical check up for food handlers and improve human waste disposal. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2010;24(1):46-50]

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