Assessment of compliance of butcher shops with food safety practices in Rungwe district Tanzania
The present study examined the compliance of butcher shops to food safety practices. The study was done based on a survey of 61 respondents randomly sampled from 61 butchers in Rungwe district. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 20 using descriptive statistics. The results indicated that the butcher environment and physical conditions had an average compliance score of 50.8%, the overall average awareness score on foodborne illnesses and hygienic practices was 65% whereas cleaning and sanitization had an overall average compliance score of 41.9%. Personal hygiene which was evaluated in terms of clothing, hands and individual health recorded 75.4% and 68.9% compliance scores for proper handwashing and drying respectively. The common hand drying practices involved the use of clean towels (62.8%) and disposable paper towels (11.5%), even so, 26.2% did not dry their hands at all. The use and cleanliness of aprons were adhered to by 93.7% of the respondents. Cross-contamination was deemed likely among 45.9% butchers due to non-separation and storage of spare clothes in the butchers. The common handling and storage practices was that of suspending meats on hooks at room temperatures (93.4%) with only 4.9% of butchers suspending on hooks at refrigeration temperature. This suggests none chilling of surplus meat at the end of the day sale by the majority of butchers. The compliance of butcher shops to food safety practices was generally modest which could be attributed to illiteracy in food safety and lack of proper meat handling and storage facilities.