Knowledge and Food Handling Practices of Nurses in a Tertiary Health Care Hospital in Nigeria
Food safety in hospitals is important to protect patients whose immunity may be compromised by their illness. The safety of food served to patients is dependent on its handling acquisition of raw food items, to preparation, packaging and distribution. The study described in this article assessed the knowledge and food handling practices of nurses in the food chain to patients in the hospital wards. The mean age of respondents was 33.7±9.3 years and 180 (56.6%) had worked in the hospital for 1–5 years. While respondents had good knowledge scores overall, only 22 (6.5%) knew the correct temperature for maintaining hot, ready-to-eat food. Also, 332 (97.6%) respondents knew the importance of hand washing before handling food while 279 (84.1%) always wash hands before handling food. The study revealed a decline in performance over time, from knowledge and attitudes to practice in food handling. Therefore, regular training on safe food handling procedures should be mainstreamed into the training curriculum of staff nurses in health care institutions.
Speaker / Author:
Aluko Olufemi Oludare