Hawker food industry: food safety/public health strategies in Malaysia

Fiona Pang (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Poh See Toh (University Technology Mara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 8 February 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the socio‐demographic factors affecting food safety knowledge/practice and the effectiveness of food safety strategies of hawkers in an urban and less urban setting of Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 50 hawkers from Kuala Lumpur and Taiping were given a questionnaire and observed in their food safety practice (FSP). In‐depth interviews were performed on four hawkers from Kuala Lumpur and Taiping.

Practical implications

Of all hawker types, Muslim/Malay hawkers, hawkers with higher educational levels, hawkers in designated sites and hawkers in an urban setting scored the highest on food safety knowledge and/or practice. This study found inadequate distribution/impracticality of regulations/guidelines for hawkers, ambiguities with licensing procedures, weaknesses in training programmes and significant complaints of designated sites by hawkers.

Originality/value

Ethnicity, religion, education and type of premise are socio‐demographic factors that may affect food safety knowledge/practices of hawkers. An urban/less urban setting may also affect hawkers' food safety knowledge/practice. Ineffectiveness of food safety strategies of the Control Authority may exist and may vary across different regions of Malaysia. Thus, food safety strategies must be regulated/reinforced and adapted to hawkers' socio‐demographic status, to ensure the safety of hawker foods in Malaysia.

Keywords

Citation

Pang, F. and See Toh, P. (2008), "Hawker food industry: food safety/public health strategies in Malaysia", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 41-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650810848007

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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