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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-103

Prevalence and knowledge of Salmonella infections among food handlers: Implications for school health in Southwestern Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Medical Sciences Ondo Nigeria, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria
2 Central Laboratory Unit, Osun State Hospital Management Board, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria
3 Department of Microbiology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adebimpe Wasiu Olalekan
Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, PMB 4494, Osogbo, Osun
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_27_16

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Background: Food handlers play important roles in transmission of Salmonella infections in unregulated school food programs, most especially in settings where surveillance of foodborne disease is not routine. This study assessed the determinants and prevalence of Salmonella infections among food handlers and its implications for public school health in Southwestern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study among 526 food handlers was carried out using semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaires. Stool collection and laboratory procedures were carried out under standard techniques. The SPSS software version 17.0 was used in data analysis. Frequency tables and charts were generated while binary logistic regression was used to demonstrate predictors of Salmonella infections, and P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 33.0 ± 7.6 years, 504 (95.8%) were females, and 378 (71.9%) were in the lowest socioeconomic class. Two hundred and seventy-seven (52.7%) had poor, 101 (19.2%) had moderate, while 148 (28.1%) had good knowledge scores as regards transmission, prevention, and control of Salmonella infections. Twenty-two (4.2%) had positive, 18 (3.4%) had indeterminate, while 486 (92.4%) had negative test results to Salmonella infections. Predictors of positive test results were being in the lower socioeconomic class, being a female and using pit toilets. Conclusion: Food handlers studied had significant prevalence rate and poor knowledge of Salmonella infections. Improving their knowledge could bring about a positive behavioral change toward a successful school feeding program.

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