Rapid Food Hygiene Inspection Tool (RFHiT) to assess hygiene conformance index (CI) of street food vendors

Soon, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434 (2019) Rapid Food Hygiene Inspection Tool (RFHiT) to assess hygiene conformance index (CI) of street food vendors. LWT Food Science and Technology, 113 . p. 108304. ISSN 0023-6438

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2019.108304


Street-vended food is a popular choice among consumers as they are cheap, convenient and easily accessible, especially in Asia. Studies have assessed street food vendors’ food safety and microbiological quality of street-vended foods and overall findings revealed gaps and inconsistencies in hygiene practices. High numbers of street food vendors vs low numbers of environmental health officers and limited time remains a challenge in most developing countries in assessing the hygiene compliance of food services. Most inspections rely on paper-based assessments of the cleanliness and hygiene practices of staff. This study developed a Rapid Food Hygiene Inspection Tool (RFHiT) to assess and calculate the hygiene conformance index (CI) of 95 street food vendors. RFHiT allows rapid assessment as it takes less than 20 minutes to assess each street food vendor. 51.30% of the street food vendors were rated as moderately clean whilst 14.25% were rated as poor and 0.95% as very poor. 20% of the vendors achieved a good rating with six street-food vendors rated as excellent. The proposed tool further demonstrated practical implications of using the rapid inspection tool to assess actual hygienic practices of street food vendors, thus reducing the Hawthorne effect among food handlers.

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