Food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices among food handlers working in meat selling establishments in the City of Nairobi

  • J M Mathenge Kenyatta University
  • M M Gicheru Kenyatta University
  • P O Okemo Kenyatta University
  • P M Ng’ang’a Ministry of Health
  • J M Mbaria University of Nairobi
Keywords: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Food handlers, Safety


Introduction: Food-borne diseases have been increasing in recent years with a greater impact on health and economies of developing countries. Good levels of knowledge towards food safety among food handlers and the effective practices in food handling are imperative in reducing such illnesses.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices in food safety among food handlers working in meat selling and processing points within Nairobi city.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the City of Nairobi. Data were collected from 100 food handlers working in food establishments selling meat in the city using an interviewer administered questionnaire.

Results: Majority of the participants were male (80.0%) and Christians (89.0%). The median (interquartile range (IQR)) age of the participants was 30.5 (26.0-38.0) years. The respondents demonstrated above average proficiency in the assessments involving Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP). The overall KAP scores were not associated with age, gender, level of education and marital status. On the other hand, respondents who had ever attended a food handling and/or food safety course had a statistically significantly higher KAP mean score than their counterparts who had never attended (respectively, 31.5±0.2 versus 30.3±0.3, p=0.003).

Conclusion: The level of knowledge, attitude, and practice on food safety and food handling amongst the sampled food handlers were found to be favorable. Training, motivation and initiatives should be provided to encourage food handlers to sustain this positive trend in knowledge, attitude, and practices in food safety.

Author Biographies

J M Mathenge, Kenyatta University

Department of Animal Sciences

M M Gicheru, Kenyatta University

Department of Animal Sciences

P O Okemo, Kenyatta University

Department of Medical Microbiology Sciences

P M Ng’ang’a, Ministry of Health

Division of Vector-Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases

J M Mbaria, University of Nairobi

College of Agricultural and Veterinary Medicine