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Knowledge and Practice of Food Hygiene and Safety Among Food Vendors in a Tertiary Health Facility and Its Environs in Akwa Ibom State

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Background: Eating food from vendors is a common practice globally but not without the challenges of food borne diseases and deaths. Poor preparation and handling of food by vendors in a hospital environment could increase morbidity and mortality from foodborne diseases. The study aimed to determine the level of knowledge and practice of food hygiene and safety by food vendors in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Adescriptive cross-sectional study using a mixed-methods approach was conducted among 247 food vendors in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and its Environs. Eligible food vendors were consecutively enrolled after obtaining consent from them. Data were analyzed using Stata version 10.0. The majority 81.4% had good knowledge of food hygiene and safety while good practice was reported by 43.7% of the vendors. Only 30.4% were observed to use both aprons and hair covers.Predictors of good knowledge of food hygiene and safety were post-secondary education (OR=10.5;95% CI=1.61-67.76;P=0.01) and location outside UUTH (OR=0.26; 95% CI=0.09-0.73;P=0.01). Older age (OR 0.43;95% CI=0.24-0.79; P=0.01), primary education (OR 0.11; 95% CI=0.02-0.61;P=0.01), lack of formal training (OR 0.45;,95% CI= 0.24-0.86;P=0.02), location outside UUTH (OR 0.48; 95% CI =0.25-0.91; P=0.03) and fair knowledge (OR 0.26; 95% CI= 0.10-0.68;P=0.01) were predictors of poor practice of food hygiene and safety. Majority of the food vendors had a good knowledge of food hygiene and safety. The self-reported practise of food hygiene and safety and use of PPEs was poor. Continuous training/workshops and constant monitoring and supervision are strongly recommended.

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