Prevalence of intestinal parasites and Salmonella and Shigella among food handlers at food service establishments in the main campus and Health Sciences College of Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

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Abstract

Abstract Background: Food borne diseases such as intestinal parasitosis, salmonellosis and shigellosis remain a major public health problem across the globe. The problem is severe in developing countries due to difficulties in securing optimal hygienic food handling practices. Food handlers may be infected by a wide range of enteropathogens and have been implicated in the transmission of many infections to the public in the community and to patients in hospitals. Objective: To determine the prevalence of Intestinal Parasites and Salmonella and Shigella among food handlers at food service establishments in main campus and Health Sciences College of Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Methodology: Cross sectional study was conducted from February to April 2010 at food service establishments in Main Campus and Health Science College of Hawassa University, Hawassa town, Ethiopia. Stool and blood specimens were collected from 272 food handlers coming consecutively. Microscopic examination and culture were performed on stool specimens for isolation of intestinal parasites and Salmonella spp and Shigella spp, respectively. In addition, all food handlers were screened for S. typhi using Widal test. Data entry and analysis was done using computer with SPSS version 15 software. Results: Of the total 272 food handlers screened for enteric pathogens, 20.6% were found to be positive for different types of intestinal parasites. Among the parasites, Ascaris lumbricoides was the most prevalent parasite (9.5%), followed by Strongyloides stercoralis (2.2%) and Entamoeba histolytica /dispar (2.2%). Shigella spp. was detected in one of food handler. No Salmonella spp was detected in stool cultures. Twenty-two (8.1%) of food handlers were positive for Widal test. Conclusion: The findings of high prevalence of enteric pathogens among food handlers in the present study indicate the hygiene practice of the food-handlers working at food service establishments in the study site is very poor. Education and training in good-hygiene practices should be provided to all food-handling personnel which are effective means of preventing the transmission of enteric pathogens from food-handling personnel via food to consumers. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2014;28(1):29-34]

How to Cite

Desta, M., Asrat, D., Woldeamanuel, Y., & Nigusie, D. (2016). Prevalence of intestinal parasites and Salmonella and Shigella among food handlers at food service establishments in the main campus and Health Sciences College of Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 28(1), PDF. Retrieved from https://ejhd.org/index.php/ejhd/article/view/121

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