oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Small and micro enterprises - aspects of knowledge, attitudes and practices of managers' and food handlers' knowledge of food safety in the proximity of Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Western Cape



. This study determined hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) awareness among managers of food-producing small and micro enterprises (SMEs) as well as selected aspects of the knowledge, attitude and practices of respective food handlers regarding food safety.

. SMEs within a 30 km range of Tygerberg Academic Hospital.
. SMEs were divided into two categories: those providing food to clients at risk of illness ( = 64) and to clients free of illness ( = 81). SMEs were randomly selected and managers / employees completed validated questionnaires regarding HACCP (145 managers) and food safety (159 food handlers).
. Only 6% of managers reported awareness of HACCP being mandatory in South Africa. More than 70% of managers and food handlers had received no formal training regarding food safety. The perception that food safety control should focus on general cleanliness still prevailed among 57.2% of managers. Food handlers achieved an unsatisfactory score (46.0%) on the basic principles of food safety. Ignorance among food handlers regarding important risk factors was as follows: ways of identifying contaminated food likely to cause food poisoning (77.5%), period of keeping prepared food safe (50.9%), correct way of cooling food (63.1%) or reheating food (84.9%), reason for checking date codes (68.1%) and use of a thermometer (90.6%). There was no significant difference in the results obtained between food handlers in SMEs providing food to healthy clients or clients at risk of illness.
. Creating awareness and understanding of HACCP among managers of SMEs and education regarding the control of risk factors remain crucial.


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