Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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A Cross Sectional Study of Food Safety Related Perceptions and Practices among Women Working in a North Indian University

S Abhishek, B Anu, C Chintu, C Pankaj, DR Rajesh, J Rajneesh


Objective: Obtaining enough information on the knowledge and practices of a target group is essential for the development of effective health education programs. This study was conducted to assess food safety knowledge, perception and practices among women working in a north Indian University.
Materials and methods: The present descriptive, cross sectional study was carried out between May 2010 to April, 2011 on 255 females working in six institutions of Maharishi Markandeshwar University using selfadministered questionnaire. Data on personal characteristics, previous attack of prominent food poisoning, and four parameters of food safety knowledge and practices were captured. Interpretation of data was done using percentage, mean for score percentage. Monte Carlo proportion was used to compare right answers among different jobs. Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare score percentages of knowledge and practices among different jobs.
Results: Highest knowledge score was in personal hygiene (81.96) while the highest practice score was in purchasing and storage (73.83). The lowest knowledge score was in food preparation (54.25) whereas the lowest practice was in personal hygiene (36.08). The mean score percentages of food safety practices in two food safety parameters; purchasing and storage & preparation (73.83 and 71.08, respectively) were higher than their corresponding knowledge (63.21 and 54.25). The knowledge score percentage in the other two parameters; cooking and storage & personal hygiene (72.45 and 81.96, respectively) were higher than their corresponding practices (65.95 and 36.08).
Conclusion: Findings of the study suggest the need for health education programs and to give more attention to improvement in knowledge defects related to the parameters with the lower knowledge scores.

Keywords: Food safety, knowledge, Perception, Practices, Personal hygiene.

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