African Journal of Food Science and Technology (ISSN: 2141-5455) Vol. 4(1), pp. 19-24, January 2013        Copyright © 2013 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Knowledge in food hygiene and hygienic practices differ- in food handlers at a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya

Margaret Githiri,1* Judith Kimiywe2 and Paul Okemo3

1Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management,

2Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics,

3Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:

Received 09 December, 2012; Accepted January 16, 2013



 Improper food handling practices and lack of knowledge in food hygiene among food handlers have been implicated as a vehicle of transferring food pathogens causing disease outbreaks. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study population comprised of 95 food-handlers.  Simple random sampling was used in sample selection. Questionnaires were used to assess their level of knowledge on hygienic practices. An observation checklist was used in capturing the non-verbal occurrences. The mean score in knowledge test indicated that the college level respondents scored 80.8%, secondary level respondents 63.4% and primary level respondents 50.8%. Pearson correlation test indicated significance between educational level and some characteristics at 0.01 and 0.05 confidence levels. The mean score in correct hygienic practices indicated that the college level of education respondents had scored 52.5%, secondary level respondents 49.2% and primary level respondents 48.2% (p= 0.05). The food handlers performed well in knowledge items compared to the hygienic practice which means that knowledge in food hygiene does not always result in a positive change in food handling practices. This indicates that there is need for educational programmes to improve knowledge but also to emphasize on translation to practices.

Keywords: Food Hygiene, Knowledge, Practices, Food handlers, Hospital.