Awareness and Use of Food Adulterants among Food Vendors and Market Women in the Northern Part of Ghana
European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety,
Ingestion of unsafe/adulterated foods is on record to have caused devastating health conditions and deaths around the world. Accordingly, an investigation to unearth this revelation is crucial in saving lives. This study, within the context of the Theory of Planned Behaviour investigated the awareness level, affordances and effects of food adulterants from the perspectives of market women and food vendors in the Bolgatanga Municipality. The study employed a sequential explanatory mixed-method design including both questionnaire and semi-structured interview guide in data collection. Using purposive, convenience and simple random sampling techniques, 106 respondents comprising 46 food vendors and 60 market women were sampled for the study. Quantitative data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics while the qualitative data followed the thematic approach. The study discovered that respondents were moderately aware (3.34±0.82) of the use of food adulterants. Again, factors such as, improve food colour, desire to increase profits, quest to improve food appearance, adding to weight and improvement of taste predominantly trigger food adulteration. Furthermore, the study revealed that food adulterants pose various health threats to consumers as perceived by respondents. Finally, the study established that there was no statistically significant difference between food vendors and market women on their level of awareness on the use of food adulterants [t(104)=0.670,p=0.504]. Hence, the study recommends that, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly and health directorate should embark on intensive public education campaigns to educate the entire populace to increase awareness levels and improve food safety knowledge to curtail the predominant use of food adulterants.
- women and vendors
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