Evaluation of food quality and safety parameters and food safety knowledge and practices of food handlers at fast foods restaurants at universities in Jordan during COVID-19

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 9, August 2023
Abughoush M., Olaimat A.N., Al-Holy M.A., Al-Dabbas M., Alavi S., Maghaydah S. et al.

The quality and the safety of the foods that are served at fast foods restaurants and their effect on the consumer health could become a matter of concern during COVID-19. Therefore, the objectives of this study were i) to evaluate the quality and safety of raw foods, suitability and availability of manufacturing places, physical facilities, drinking water and waste management system, and processing conditions, and ii) to assess the knowledge, attitudes, practices regarding food safety and hygienic practices among food handlers at fast foods restaurants in the different universities in Jordan during COVID-19. The study was conducted in 12 fast foods restaurants of 3 different universities in Jordan which are located in different places in Jordan. A desirable practice was given a score of one while no score will be allotted for an undesirable practice through using a standard questionnaire for all the food establishments. This was used to compare with the maximum score obtainable for that relevant operation and the percentage scores was calculated for each operation. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) of the data was performed to study the significant differences at P ≤ 0.05 in all the evaluated properties among the food establishments in the different universities. The results showed that low percentage scores were obtained with 68%, 75%, 32% and 56% for the production area, waste management, product evaluation (chemical, microbial) and food safety program application, respectively. Also, it was found that there were insignificant differences at P ≤ 0.05 among different food serving establishments in different universities in all the safety properties. This means that all the food establishments in all the universities suffer from the same problems with the same degree. As a conclusion, more work should be done to produce safe food in the different food establishments that were studied in the different universities.