Indian Journal of Public Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47--48

Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections amongst food handlers in hotels and restaurants in Solapur city


Anant A Takalkar1, Narendra S Madhekar2, Anjali P Kumavat3, Shatrughna M Bhayya4,  
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, India
3 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Dr. V. M. Govt. Medical College, Solapur, India
4 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, India

Correspondence Address:
Anant A Takalkar
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally
India




How to cite this article:
Takalkar AA, Madhekar NS, Kumavat AP, Bhayya SM. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections amongst food handlers in hotels and restaurants in Solapur city.Indian J Public Health 2010;54:47-48


How to cite this URL:
Takalkar AA, Madhekar NS, Kumavat AP, Bhayya SM. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections amongst food handlers in hotels and restaurants in Solapur city. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Sep 18 ];54:47-48
Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2010/54/1/47/70557


Full Text

Sir,

Parasites present a persistent and intolerable threat to the health of millions of people and the cost of hosting parasite in terms of human misery and economic loss is incalculable. Food handler is any person who handles food regardless whether he actually prepares or serves it. Food handlers with poor personal hygiene working in food serving establishments could be a potential source of infection of many intestinal helminthes, protozoa and enteropathogenic bacterias.

Therefore the present cross sectional study was conducted amongst 300 food handlers working in various Hotels and Restaurants in Solapur city during year 2004-2005 that aimed at assessing prevalence of intestinal parasites in food handlers and their personal hygiene. Hotels were graded as A, B and C as per the amenities available and norms laid down by Solapur Municipal Corporation health department. Out of 168 licensed hotels,84 were selected by systemic random sampling (Grade A-14,B-32 and C-38) and 100 food handlers each from Grade A, B and C were examined, 25 each were cooks, waiters, washers and helpers irrespective of grade of hotel, so that all category of food handlers were having equal chance of being examination. Total 237 males and 63 females were included in the study. Assessment of personal hygiene was done by using Jacob M. scoring system[1] and stool specimens were examined for intestinal parasites by using direct wet mount in normal saline and iodine and formol-ether concentration sedimentation method.

Only 276 food handlers were compliant for stool examination and 77 had intestinal parasitic infections having overall prevalence rate being 27.9% with Entamoeba histolytica (13.7%), Ascaris lumbricoides (6.5%) and hook worm (2.9%) which is almost comparable with Gupta et al[2] , Kale et al. [3] and Mohan et al. [4] Infections were most prevalent in 46.2% of washers and 42.4% of helpers [3],[5] . 51(17%) food handlers were having poor personal hygiene and bearing maximum burden of parasitic infection (68.6%). Strong association observed between personal hygiene of food handlers and intestinal parasitic infection (P<0.001).It is directly related to health especially for cooks and helpers who are directly handling raw as well as cooked food. The waiters are directly in contact with consumers, so they may be well dressed and having good personal hygiene, so their awareness about personal hygiene was better than helpers, washers and cooks. High prevalence amongst washers and helpers was attributed to high prevalence of unhygienic habits and poor personal hygiene. Findings alert for importance of personal hygiene and health education on intestinal parasitic infection and methods of their prevention and control. Study urges for strict application of ergonomical principles amongst food handlers of Solapur city.

References

1Jacob M. Safe food handling, a training guide for manager of food service establishments, Geneva: WHO; 1989.
2Gupta SC. Prevalence of intestinal parasites in food handlers. Indian Medical Gazette; 1981. p. 295-8.
3Kale AB. Personal communication: Prevalence of intestinal parasites in food handlers. Indian Medical Gazette; 1989. p. 289-91.
4Mohan V. An evaluation of health status of food handlers of eating establishments in various educational and health institutions in Amritsar City. Indian J Community Med 2001;26:80-4.
5Sangole SS. Knowledge and practices of food handlers regarding food hygiene. Indian J Community Health 2001;7:34-40.