Microorganisms as an Indicator of Hygiene Status Among Migrant Food Handlers in Peninsular Malaysia

Woh, P.Y. and Thong, Kwai Lin and Lim, Yvonne Ai Lian and Behnke, J.M. and Lewis, J.W. and Mohd Zain, S.N. (2017) Microorganisms as an Indicator of Hygiene Status Among Migrant Food Handlers in Peninsular Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 29 (7). pp. 599-607. ISSN 1010-5395, DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1010539517735856.

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This study used microbial indicators to assess the hygiene status of 383 migrant food handlers from 3 urban cities in Peninsular Malaysia. Microbiological analysis revealed that all the hand swabs tested 99.5% positive for aerobic plate counts (mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD] = 3.57 ± 0.83 log10CFU [colony forming unit]), 20.8% positive for total coliform/Escherichia coli (M ± SD = 0.30 ± 0.67 log10CFU), and 63.4% positive for Staphylococcus aureus (M ± SD = 1.38 ± 1.26 log10CFU). In addition, aerobic plate counts and Staphylococcus aureus counts exceeded the acceptable standard levels. Bacterial counts were found to be significantly associated with subjects’ country of origin (P = .019) and working responsibilities (P = .001). Our findings indicate high probability of transmission of pathogenic bacteria from the food handlers’ hands to customers during meal preparation and serving. This calls for improvements in personal hygiene and sanitation standards by the relevant health authorities among migrant food handlers.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microbial indicator; Bacterial hand contamination; Migrant food handler; Personal hygiene; Sanitation
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Prof. Dr Kwai Lin Thong
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 02:11
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 05:36
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/18225

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