Knowledge on street food safety among a selected group of Sri Lankan students; A cross-sectional study
Street food has been frequently reported to contribute to foodborne
illnesses. As a result, the safety of street food has been given major
attention. Numerous studies have shown that a lack of knowledge among
university students regarding street food safety results in a risk of
contracting food-borne illnesses.
Objective: Determine the knowledge of street food safety among undergraduate students.
Methodology: A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data related to students’ socio-demographic details and food safety knowledge. In this study, 332 street food consumers (220 females and 112 males) voluntarily participated. The data were analyzed with SPSS version 26 using p value < 0.05 as statistical significance. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for analysis.
Results: The study showed that street food consumers’ knowledge on food safety was average. The knowledge regarding food safety was not significantly associated with socio-demographic factors assessed (gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, study program, academic year, and accommodation method) (p > 0.05). The majority of consumers were aware of the possibility of food contamination, the value of washing hands, and the need for adequate hygiene in order to prevent foodborne illnesses. However, some aspects related to knowledge of food safety caused concerns. The majority of customers found it difficult to understand that food does not transmit AIDS.
Conclusion: Young adults should be educated about food hygiene
and safety. However, further studies are necessary to confirm these findings.