Household food safety practices in a rural area of Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu- A cross-sectional study
Keywords:Food safety practices, food hygiene, food contamination, food-borne illness
Introduction: Food safety is a public health priority. Though contamination of food could occur at any point from production to consumption, a substantial proportion of foodborne diseases occur due to inadequate food safety practices at home. This study was undertaken to assess food safety practices in rural households in the field practice area of our college and identify any association between food safety practices and occurrence of food-borne illness in the family. Materials and methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted among woman above thirty years of age attending the rural training and health centre of a medical college in Kancheepuram district between January to March 2016. A pre-tested schedule was used to obtain information of foodborne illness in the family in the past three months and food safety practices at home. The results were tabulated and appropriate statistical tests performed. Results: Among the 100 women participated, 28% reported that at least one person in their family has suffered from foodborne illness in the past three months. Significant statistical association was identified between occurrence of food-borne illness and absence of separate kitchen, inadequate hand washing practices, storing food for more than 1 day, reheating of stored food and housefly breeding in household (p < 0.05).Conclusion: This study highlighted inadequacies in food safety at household level and the association with foodborne illnesses and need for similar studies in different parts of the country. The information obtained will help us develop an effective health education programme appropriate to target population.
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