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Safety and Hygiene Status of Street Vended Foods in Ho, Ghana
The advent of urbanization and its concomitant increase in urban population has catapulted the street food industry into a crucial role in meeting the food demands of urban residents. Health experts however, have continued with the argument that numerous health hazards are associated with these street vended foods. This paper explores safety and hygiene status of urban street vended foods in Ho which has traces as an urban community being the Volta Regional capital 0town in Ghana. Data was sourced from the street food vendors, customers and key personalities at the forefront of Public and Environmental Health making use of both simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Semi structured questionnaires; in depth interviews (IDI) and personal observation were employed in data collection. In all, one hundred (100) respondents participated in the study. The analysis revealed that majority of the street vended foods in Ho was only partially safe for human consumption. Poor construction and location of vending sites, inadequate sanitary facilities, poor personal hygiene, temperature abuses and sub-standard packaging were identified as the main variables responsible for the low safety and quality of the street foods. The paper recommends that the Asogli Traditional Council, Ho Municipal Assembly, the Ghana Tourism Authority and civil society organizations should help regulate the activities of street food vendors by enforcing codes of practice for the street food business. Workshops and talk shows should be considered in order to expose food vendors to basic hygiene and sanitary practices necessary for food handling and preparation to promote food hygiene, sanitation and safety.
Food Vendors, Safety, Street Food, Quality.
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