Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 99-105 Published Online July 2013 (
Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental
Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria
Motunrayo F. Olumakaiye, Kudirat O. Bakare
Department of Family, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.
Received March 22nd, 2013; revised April 23rd, 2013; accepted April 30th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Motunrayo F. Olumakaiye, Kudirat O. Bakare. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-
mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work
is properly cited.
Environmental conditions and hygiene practices under which foods are prepared and served for public consumption are
a matter of concern. The study was conducted to investigate the impact of training of food providers on environmental
conditions of food service outlets (FSO) in and around a university community in Southwestern Nigeria. Structured
questionnaire and “Spot Check Observation” (SCO) were used to assess the hygiene practices and environmental condi-
tion of the FSO respectively. Sixteen (16) High Density Food Service Outlets (HDFSO) and twelve (12) Low Density
Food Service Outlets (LDFSO) were investigated. From the findings, mean score of SCO for HDFSO was low (2.93 ±
0.09) compared to LDFSO (4.32 ± 0.56) (p = 0.014). There were significant differences in source of cooking water (p =
0.003), solid waste disposal method (p = 0.031), liquid waste disposal method (p = 0.023) and toilet facilities (p = 0.001)
between HDFSO and LDFSO. Significant differences existed in the environmental hygiene between HDFSO and
LDFSO (p < 0.05). A significant relationship existed between educational level (r = 0.789, p = 0.038), age (r = 0.631, p
= 0.045), income (r = 0.623, p = 0.004) of food service providers and environmental condition. Service providers that
were >40 years of age were more likely to score high in SCO in HDFSO than the other age groups (OR = 1.80, 95%CI
= 1.21, 2.68). Those with tertiary education were twice more likely to score high in SCO compared to those with lower
educational qualifications in LDFSO (OR = 2.03, 95%CI = 1.48 - 2.78). Those who earned above 40,000.00 were
more likely to have higher SCO among both categories. A 3-day food safety workshop was organized among both
groups at different times, three months later, SCO was conducted and scores improved greatly. Constant training of
food service providers is important to improving the environmental condition of food service outlets in high-density
urban areas in order to ensure food safety.
Keywords: Food Service; Environment; Hygiene; Training; Nigeria
1. Introduction
Eating away from home is becoming popular; it is an
important feature of urban centers in many developing
countries. Recently, food service outlets are widespread
in Nigeria ranging from restaurants, “bukateria”, hotels,
fast food centers, kiosks to counters where food and
snacks are sold. This development could be attributed to
increased industrialization and urbanization, thence make
more people to eat out. The number of meals eaten at
home has reduced; lighter meals appear to be taken in
place of formal meals due to the nature of work schedule
of individuals. However, effective cleaning and preven-
tion of cross-contamination are both essential in ensuring
that ready-to-eat food served by food vendors is safe to
Food safety is of utmost public health concern in the
twenty-first century [1]. Food consumed at retail food
service establishments including restaurants, clubs,
schools, and university foodservice are sources of food
borne illnesses and food handlers contribute to food
borne illness outbreaks [2,3]. Every year in the United
States an estimate of 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospi-
talizations, and 3000 deaths are the consequence of food-
borne illnesses [4]. In the United States people are spend-
ing approximately $580 million on purchasing food from
retail foodservice operations [5]. According to the US [6],
the top three factors contributing to foodborne illnesses
in foodservice operations are: 1) poor personal/environ-
mental hygiene; 2) cross contamination; and 3) time/tem-
perature control. For the purpose of this study, environ-
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Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria
mental hygiene conditions were investigated.
About 2.4 billion people globally live under highly un-
sanitary conditions and have such poor hygiene behav-
iours that their exposure to risks of incidence and spread
of infectious diseases, are enormous [7]. Unhealthy en-
vironment constitutes enormous threat to the safety of
food service in societies. World Health Organisation has
been at the forefront of environmental sanitation and
hygiene action over the past years. In Kenya the status of
environmental sanitation has been declining due to the
rapid increase in population in urban areas, there is high
population density with deplorable living and poor sani-
tary conditions where foods are served [8].
It is very clear that mishandling and misappropriation
of the environmental conditions are not on purpose to
harm or threaten the health of consumers. Often times the
anomalies occur as a result of lack of knowledge of pro-
bable consequences. Dearth of good knowledge of per-
sonal/environmental hygiene frequently contributes to
food-borne illness which indicates that food handlers’
knowledge and handling practices need to be improved.
A USA based study suggested that improper food han-
dling practices, which largely transfer to poor environ-
mental condition, contribute to about 97% of food borne
illnesses in food services establishments and homes [9].
Environment in this context refers to factors that may
adversely impact human health or the ecological balances
essential to long-term human health and environmental
quality. Such factors include but not limited to air, food
and water contamination, disease vectors, safety hazards
A host of diseases such as cholera, malaria, typhoid,
intestinal worms, and tuberculosis are caused by unclean
environment. Morbidity and malnutrition are highly pre-
cipitated on environmental factors; for instance, 90% of
cases of diarrhea disease burden [11] are closely associ-
ated with contamination of water and food with fecal
matter. This arises from lack of basic infrastructure, lack
of knowledge of hygiene, lack of basic sanitation, poor
water supply and poor food storage and overall poor en-
vironmental condition for food operation (such as prox-
imity to sewers and garbage dumps) [12].
The overall quality of food entails the training em-
ployees have, sanitation standards, handling and storage
conditions [13]. Training is mostly directed at improving
the ability to do one’s vocation more effectively and effi-
ciently [14]. It includes acquiring necessary skills and
knowledge to develop abilities and attitudes which will
give greater competence in the performance of a task. [15]
adduced that training represents a continuing necessity in
the same way the education of a person never really ends.
Training is a continuous or never ending process that
bridges the gap between what employees (producers)
have and what the job (product) demands and its dynam-
ics [16].
Therefore, to reduce food-borne illnesses, it is crucial
to gain understanding of the knowledge and practices of
food handlers [17]. Due to these gaps in training and
oversight, there are increased opportunities for food-
borne illness outbreaks, placing the public at an increased
opportunistic risk especially in the era of globalization
that is characterized with increased travels and conse-
quent instinct to eat away from home. It is against this
background that the study examined the impact of train-
ing of food vendors on environmental conditions of food-
service outlets in urban Western Nigeria.
2. Methodology
2.1. Study Area and Sampling Procedure
The study was carried out in Obafemi Awolowo Uni-
versity, Ile Ife, South-Western Nigeria. Obafemi Awo-
lowo University has a population of about 40,000 people
out of which about 30,000 were students and 7000 staffs
and 3000 casual workers. There are about 120 Food Ser-
vice Outlets (FSO) of varying sizes within and around
the campus. The FSO were divided into two categories:
High Density Food Service Outlets (HDFSO) sometimes
referred to as street food and Low Density Food Service
Outlets (LDFSO) otherwise known as fast food. The
High Density Food Service Outlets (HDFSO) were den-
sely populated and there were many of such outlets
clustered together with no definite structure, map and
road network while the Low Density Food Service Out-
lets (LDFSO) were well organized in their setting and
layout. Foods sold at the HDFSO are relatively cheaper
than those in LDFSO. There were more HDFSO than
LDFSO in the study area; therefore sixteen (16) were
randomly selected from HDFSO and twelve (12) among
2.2. Research Instruments
Two sets of instrument were used in the course of the
study; two sets of structured questionnaire (for food pro-
viders and clients) and Spot Check Observation (SCO).
The questionnaires were distributed to the food service
providers and the clients while the researcher did the
Spot Check Observation. The information that were elic-
ited from the food providers were on personal character-
istics, sources of water supply, methods of waste disposal
(solid and liquid) and availability of toilet facilities.
For the SCO, the following were checked; bush in the
surrounding, droppings of animals, presence of rodents,
unwashed plates/utensils, closeness of refuse dumps and
stagnant water. Overall cleanliness of the environment
was scored; presence of any of these was scored 0, while
absence was scored 1, which made the total score obtain-
able from the SCO to be 6.
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Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria 101
2.3. Validity and Reliability of Research
Overall content validity was carried out to ensure that the
whole questionnaire contained and measured the infor-
mation required within the framework of the research
objectives. Pilot method was used to determine the reli-
ability. This was carried out in a separate population,
analyzed and faults were detected, then corrections were
made before carrying out the research in the target popu-
2.4. Data Analysis
Data was entered and processed using SPSS version 16.0
(Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Chicago, IL,
USA) for analysis involving descriptive and inferential
statistical methods. The frequency of occurrence and
percentages on the various parameters were presented in
tables and figures. Pearson’s correlation, chi square and
logistic regression were used for inferences. All infer-
ences were made at less than 0.05 and 0.01 levels of sig-
3. Results
3.1. Socio-Demographic Status of the Food
Service Providers
As observed on Table 1, a total of 28 food service outlets
were visited; 16 in high density (HDFSO) and 12 low
density (LDFSO) areas. Larger proportion of the food
service providers (53.6%) was above 40 years of age,
there were more female (87.5%) in the HDFSO than
male and majority (82.1%) were married. Most of the
food providers in LDFSO had higher education and
earned more income compared to those who operate food
service in high-density areas.
3.2. Environmental Hygiene Conditions of Food
Service Outlets
The environmental hygiene practices were investigated
as shown in Table 2. Source of drinking water in general
was through table/sachet water (57.2%), while more of
LDFSO used tap/borehole water for cooking (75.0%)
compared to 18.7% in HDFSO. Most of the HDFSO had
refuse site close to them and dispose refuse carelessly
(62.5%) while 58.4% used approved contractors in the
LDFSO. Majority (81.3%) of HDFSO used open drain-
age method for liquid waste disposal whereas half of the
food service providers in low-density area used septic
tanks. One quarter of the HDFSO had no toilet facilities;
they defecated in the bush while water closet toilet fa-
cility was used by all the LDFSO. There was a signifi-
cant difference in the source of cooking water, method of
waste disposal (solid and liquid) and toilet facilities be-
Table 1. Personal Characteristics of Food Service Providers
HDFSO (N = 16), LDFSO (N = 12).
Characteristics HDFSO
N (%)
N (%)
N (%)
Age (years)
35 6 (37.4) 2 (16.7) 8 (28.6)
36 - 40 5 (31.3) - 5 (17.8)
>40 5 (31.3) 10 (83.3) 15 (53.6)
Male 2 (12.5) 7 (58.3) 9 (32.1)
Female 14 (87.5) 5 (41.7) 19 (67.9)
Marital status
Single 3 (18.8) 2 (16.7) 5 (17.9)
Married 13 (81.2) 10 (83.3) 23 (82.1)
Highest level of education
Primary education 9 (56.3) - 9 (32.1)
Secondary education 3 (18.7) 2 (16.7) 5 (17.9)
Tertiary education 4 (25.0) 7 (58.3) 11 (39.3)
Post graduate education - 3(25.0) 3 (10.7)
Income/month (Naira—)
<20,000 4 (25.0) 1 (8.3) 5 (17.9)
20,000 - 39,000 7 (43.8) 2 (16.7) 9 (32.1)
40,000 - 60,000 3 (18.7) 6 (50.0) 9(32.1)
>60,000 2 (12.5) 3 (25.0) 5(17.9)
tween HDFSO and LDFSO at p < 0.05.
3.3. Spot Check Observation (SCO) Assessment
before and after Training of Food Service
“Spot check observation” used to assess the environ-
mental hygiene conditions of the food service outlets was
based on the observations that were made on the pres-
ence of “bushes around”, “unwashed plates”, “rodents
around”, “animal feaces around”, “refuse dump” and “stag-
nant water” close to food service area, which were scored.
Mean score of SCO before training on food safety con-
sciousness was organized for HDFSO was low (2.93 ±
0.09) compared to LDFSO (4.32 ± 0.56) (P = 0.014),
while the scores increased to 4.22 and 5.41 respectively
after training (Figures 1-3).
Correlation analysis was conducted and there existed a
highly significant relationship between age (r = 0.631, p
= 0.045), education level (r = 0.789, p = 0.038) and
income (r = 0.623, p = 0.004) of the service providers
and environmental hygiene practices (Table 3). This im-
plied that age, education level and income contributed to
about 40%, 63% and 39% respectively of factors res-
ponsible for the environmental condition of food service
outlets in the study area.
Data of logistic regression analyses in Table 4 showed
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Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria
Table 2. Hygiene practices of food service outlets.
Sources of water HDFSO
N (%)
N (%)
N (%)p-value
Drinking water
Well water 3 (18.7)- 3 (10.7)
Tap water/bore hole 4 (25.0)5 (41.7) 9 (32.1)0.083
Table/sachets water 9 (56.3)7 (58.3) 16 (57.2)
Cooking water
Water vendor 4 (25.0)- 4 (14.4)
Well water 9 (56.3)3 (25.0) 12 (42.8)0.003*
Tap water/bore hole 3 (18.7)9 (75.0) 12 (42.8)
Method of waste disposal
Solid waste
Open refuse dump 10 (62.5)1 (8.3) 11 (39.3)
Burning 2 (12.5)3 (25.0) 5 (17.9)0.031*
Burying - 1 (8.3) 1 (3.5)
Approved contractors 4 (25.0)7(58.4) 11 (39.3)
Liquid waste
Open drainage 13 (81.3)2 (16.7) 15 (53.6)
Covered drainage 3 (18.7)4 (33.3) 7 (25.0)0.022*
Septic tank - 6 (50.0) 6 (21.4)
Toilet facilities
Latrine 10 (62.5)- 10 (35.7)
Water closet 2 (12.5)12 (100.0) 14 (50.0)0.001*
In the bush 4 (25.0)- 4 (14.3)
HDFSO (N = 16), LDFSO (N = 12); *Significant differences existed be-
tween HDFSO and LDFSO at p 0.05.
Table 3. Correlation analysis showing the relationship be-
tween environmental hygiene condition and selected vari-
Variables r r2 % determination p value
Age 0.631 0.398 39.8 0.045
Education level 0.789 0.623 62.5 0.038
Income 0.623 0.388 38.8 0.004
Figure 1. Graph showing scores of spot check observation
before and after training of food providers in HDFSO.
Figure 2. Graph showing scores of spot check observation
before and after training of food providers in LDFSO.
Figure 3. Overall spot check observation score of food ser-
vice outlets before and after training.
Table 4. Multivariable odds ratios and environmental con-
dition scores of food service providers.
OR 95%CI OR 95%CI
Age (years)
35 (ref) 1.00 1.00
36 - 40 1.18*1.21, 2.68 1.04 0.50, 2.17
>40 0.360.22, 0.61 2.18* 1.08, 4.40
Highest education level
Primary education (ref)1.00 1.00
Secondary education 2.03*1.48, 2.78 1.25 0.50, 3.16
Tertiary education 0.250.09, 0.68 2.62* 1.14, 6.03
Post graduate education- - 0.72 0.01, 0.45
Income/month (Naira)
<20,000 (ref) 1.00 1.00
20,000 - 39,000 0.170.23, 0.44 0.09 0.65, 2.27
40,000 - 60,000 1.28*0.95, 1.75 1.63 1.91, 2.27
>60,000 1.631.29, 2.06 5.02* 0.87, 4.21
*Estimate is significantly different from that of the reference group: p
that those who were 40 years and above were twice more
likely to have better environmental hygiene condition
among the LDFSO than those who were less than 35
years old (OR = 2.18, 95%CI = 1.08, 4.40), while those
who had secondary education were also twice more
likely than those with primary education to have better
environmental hygiene condition among HDFSO (OR =
2.03, 95%CI = 1.48, 2.78). Similarly, those who earned
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
above sixty thousand naira were five times more likely to
have better environmental condition than other groups
(OR = 5.02, 95%CI = 0.87, 4.21).
3.4. Demographic Variables of Clients Who
Patronize Food Service Outlet
Table 5 indicated association between selected variables
of clients patronizing the food service outlets investi-
gated. The results showed that females were 70% more
likely to patronize outlets that scored high in environ-
mental hygiene conditions in HDFSO compared to male
(OR = 0.34, 95%CI = 0.66, 2.45). Those who were >30
years of age were three times more likely to consider
environmental hygiene conditions of food service outlet
in HDFSO before patronage compared with <19 years
old (OR = 3.11, 95%CI = 0.23, 2.76 ). While those with
higher income (>60,000) were five times more likely to
visit outlets with better conditions among LDFSO com-
pared to the reference group (<20,000) (OR = 4.76,
95%CI = 0.56, 5.44).
4. Discussion
Food in HDFSO sometimes referred to as street food is
generally sold from stands/stalls (usually not permanent
structures) on the pavement of busy streets in urban areas,
usually at a lower cost than foods sold at LDFSO (fast
Table 5. Demographic variables of respondents who patronized food service outlets, multivariable odds ratios and environ-
mental condition scores of food service outlet.
Variables HDFSO N (%)OR 95%CI LDFSO N (%) OR 95%CI
Male (ref) 51 (60.7) 1.00 14 (42.4) 1.00
Female 33 (39.3) 0.34* 0.66, 2.45 19 (57.6) 0.05 0.77, 1.34
Age (years)
19 (ref) 35 (41.7) 1.00 6 (18.2) 1.00
20 - 30 14 (16.7) 0.05 0.16, 1.54 10 (30.3) 0.35 0.23, 0.53
31 - 40 12 (14.3) 3.11* 0.23, 2.76 9 (27.3) 0.62 0.44, 0.87
>40 23 (27.3) 0.47 0.31, 0.72 8 (24.2) 1.02 0.80, 1.29
Students (ref) 21(25.0) 1.00 12 (36.4) 1.00
Civil servants 5 (6.0) 0.98 0.49, 1.90 6 (18.2) 0.80 0.67, 1.23
Lecturers 9 (10.7) 0.87 0.36, 2.08 8 (24.2) 0.55 0.80, 1.64
Artisans 41 (48.8) 1.06 0.44, 1.67 - - -
Organised private sectors 8 (9.5) 0.56 0.77, 1.06 7 (21.2) 1.02 0.85, 1.64
Highest education
Primary (ref) 18 (21.4) 1.00 2 (6.1) 1.00
Secondary school 52 (61.9) 0.06 0.23, 0.87 8 (24.2) 0.03 0.99, 1.18
Tertiary 12 (14.3) 1.04 0.66, 1.64 12 (36.4) 0.78 0.56, 1.89
Post graduate 2 (2.4) 1.07 0.65, 1.82 11(33.3) 0.11 0.17, 0.67
Income/month (Naira)
<20,000 (ref) 28 (33.3) 1.00 2 (6.1) 1.00
20,000 - 39,000 35 (41.7) 0.13 0.77, 1.58 3 (9.1) 1.08 0.45, 1.55
40,000 - 60,000 11(13.1) 1.84 1.45, 2.33 7 (21.2) 0.34 0.36, 1.26
>60,000 10 (11.9) 0.56 1.06, 1.99 21 (63.6) 4.76* 0.56, 5.44
Average amount spent/transaction (Naira)
<200 (ref) 44 (52.4) 1.00 2 (6.1) 1.00
200 - 400 34 (40.5) 0.67 0.45, 0.99 4 (12.1) 0.34 0.44, 1.33
401 - 600 6 (7.1) 0.34 0.23, 1.33 6 (18.1) 0.33 0.48, 1.56
601 - 1000 - - - 14 (42.5) 0.67 0.76, 2.56
>1000 - - - 7 (21.2) 0.04 0.45, 1.44
(HDFSO (N = 84), LDFSO) (N = 33); *Estimate is significantly different from that of the reference group: p 0.05.
Training of Food Providers for Improved Environmental Conditions of Food Service Outlets in Urban Area Nigeria
food). Hence they provide an accessible source of food to
low income people whereas, in LDFSO, foods are sold in
formal structures such as buildings and malls and fre-
quently operate as franchise.
The socio economic status of food service providers
were investigated in the study and the findings indicated
that majority of the food service providers were female.
This corroborates the findings of [8] who opined that
food vendors were majorly female in Nigeria, Ghana,
Uganda and Kenya. The findings however, contradict the
situation in Bangladesh and Botswana where the majority
of street food vendors were men [18].
In Nairobi, street food vendors had basic hygiene
knowledge, but were unable to translate this basic hy-
giene knowledge into safe food practices [8]. Despite the
fact that the educational level of the food service provid-
ers was high in the study, the level of hygiene practices
was somewhat low before they were formally trained on
food safety knowledge. This could be attributed to the
varied age and diverse personality of food service pro-
viders without any formal training in food preparation for
business or hygiene and sanitation issues.
A study undertaken at three different shopping malls
in Johannesburg included young adults who patronized
fast food centers from three different socio-economic
strata [19]. This contradicts findings in the study, which
indicated that those who patronized HDFSO were young
people (<19 years) while adults (>30 years) patronized
LDFSO. Findings from the study revealed that people
who earned higher income (>60,000) patronized LDFSO.
This is in agreement with a study in South Africa by [20].
(2011), almost half of the participants who patronized
fast food centers and not street foods earned less than
R5000 (100,000) per month.
As for the environmental condition of the food service,
age of food providers, education and income were impor-
tant determinants of the environmental condition of the
food service outlets in the study area. This finding cor-
roborates the findings in a similar study conducted in
USA, which showed that age, education level, and in-
come were found to be significant in assessing patronage
of green restaurants [21]. However, younger consumer
groups (<19 years) were less concerned about the envi-
ronmental condition of food service outlets in this study.
This could lead to incessant outbreaks of foodborne dis-
ease among the adolescents, which may lead to the de-
pletion of nutrient stores thereby predisposing them to
malnutrition, especially among the female. Distinct gen-
der roles has led most researchers to argue that women
are more likely than men to be concerned with environ-
mental condition because women will, as a result of so-
cial development and sex role differences, more carefully
consider the impact of their actions on others [22]. This
is in line with this study that female were more likely
than male to consider environment before patronizing a
food service outlet especially among the older group.
In conclusion, since formal training in food prepara-
tion for business or hygiene and sanitation issues is im-
portant in translating basic hygiene knowledge into safe
food practices as depicted in this study, what is needed is
to put in place constant vendors’ training and consumer
sensitization programmes to ensure food safety and nu-
tritional quality at all levels.
5. Acknowledgements
We want to acknowledge the contributions of the stu-
dents of the Department of Family, Nutrition and Con-
sumer Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife,
Nigeria who assisted in data collection. Also the Food
Service Providers who voluntarily participated in the
survey were appreciated.
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