1.1 Background to the Study
The presence of pathogenic microorganisms in food stuffs, food contact surfaces, equipments and utensils has led to a high degree of chronic illness ( Enuogu and Alan, 2000). Enuogu and Alan, (2000) have identified cafeterian workers a.d other food service workers as likely sources of food contamination. Many organisms have been found to proliferate readily at wide temperature range (Enuogu and Alan, 2000). Biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and helminthes constitute the major food borne diseases; such as amoebiasis, salmonellosis and giadiasis with varying degrees of severity ranging from mild indisposition to chronic or life threatening illness or both (Edema et al., 2005). In developing countries, such contaminations are responsible for food borne diseases such as cholera, campylobacteriosis, amoebiasis and poliomyelitis (Edema et al.,2005). The presence of indicator organisms pathogens or high bacteria counts in food stuffs, food contact surfaces, equipments and utensils provide a direct and relevant measure of cleaning efficiency and hygiene (Moyo and Baudi, 2004). However, when contamination of food by a pathogen occurs in canteens, restaurants, fast food services and cafeterias as a result of failure to observe proper sanitation, improper cooking method, cross- contamination and long interval between preparation and consumption, a large number of people over a wide area will be affected (Bean et al., 1990). Some food handling mistakes such as contaminated raw materials, inadequate cooking of food, may lead to its unsafe nature. The school cafeteria and the public food service center are commercial establishments that are patronized by both staff and students of the institution (Edema et al., 2005). And food safety should be ensured during production, processing, stirage , distribution and preparation of food to ensure its safety for human consumption (Edema et al., 2005). Effective cleaning is of prime importance since it does not only remove gross contamination but also residues that could support the subsequent survival and growth of microorganisms ( Bean et al., 1990).
1.2 Problem Statement
Incidence of diarrhoea, typhoid fever and salmonellosis have been reported by Sadiq and Abdullahi (2004) among students of higher institutions of learning following eating at the food service center to be on the increase. This shows that the food prepared in those areas, utensils and personal hygiene practice of the food handlers are questionable. Students who are the major patronizers may be exposed to potential dangers of food borne diseases. Thus there us need for bacteriological assessment of food sold at these centers at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The major objective of the study is the bacteriological assessment of two food service centers in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. This sis to be achieved through the following specific objectives:
(i) identification of the food handling practices among food sellers
(ii) identification of the bacterial diseases common among the students and staff who patronize the school canteen at the campus.
1.4 Research questions
(1) what are food service centers?
(2) How safe are the food vended by thses service centers?
(3) what are the hazards associated with food service centers?
(4) what are the food handling practices among the food sellers?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research helps to identify the food handling practices among food sellers and ti establish whether the practices are capable of exposing the students to bacterial borne diseases and to identify the bacterial diseases common among the students and staff who patronize the school canteen at the campus. This will aid I dividuals , researchers, government, policy makers and students in decision making.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research focuses on the bacteriological assessment of two food service centers in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
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