Safe food and proper nutrition play a vital role in the health of populations. Food-borne diseases are a serious public health problem. Food handlers working in the kitchen play an important role in the transmission of foodborne diseases. Food-borne diseases, especially those caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, are preventable. Proper manpower training is a key factor in provision of safe food and prevention of malnutrition.
A descriptive, cross-sectional and applied study was conducted in 10 hospitals affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2017. The knowledge, attitude and practice of 136 food handlers working in the kitchens of the hospitals was assessed using questionnaires.
Analysis of the data showed that 8.08% of the participants had a good knowledge about food hygiene and safety (a score above 75%), while 16.7% of them achieved the full score as regards attitude. The hospitals’ performance was at a desirable level. The level of food hygiene and safety knowledge of the food handlers was significantly associated with their refresher trainings (p <0.05).
It can be concluded that the awareness of food handlers in most of the hospitals about food hygiene and safety is not sufficiently high. It is suggested to design and implement proper refresher training crash courses, as well as sensitize the personnel.
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