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Knowledge and practices of food safety regulators in Southern India

R.V. Sudershan (Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India)
G.M. Subba Rao (Extension & Training Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India, and)
Pratima Rao (Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India)
M. Vishnu Vardhana Rao (Division of Field Studies, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India)
Kalpagam Polasa (Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 28 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

To assess knowledge, perceptions and practices of grassroots‐level food safety regulators.

Design/methodology/approach

Knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) study using quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Quantitative data was collected using a pre‐tested knowledge assessment questionnaire. Qualitative data was collected by conducting a focus group discussion (FGD) and six in‐depth interviews among food safety regulators from all 23 districts of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS package (version 14.5). The FGD and in‐depth interviews' recordings were transcribed verbatim and translated into English before compiling them into individual reports. These reports were read independently by a group of researchers before inferences were drawn.

Findings

The respondents' knowledge on basic food microbiology was limited. They attributed their inability to monitor all cases of food poisoning/adulteration to delay in receiving information and lack of laboratory facilities. They had sound knowledge of conventional adulterations, but were not equipped to check newer adulterations. Their knowledge on health/nutrition claims on food labels is almost nil. Orientation towards food safety issues other than adulteration is the need of the hour.

Originality/value

The results of the study can serve as the basis for developing an in‐service training module for food safety regulators.

Keywords

Citation

Sudershan, R.V., Subba Rao, G.M., Rao, P., Vishnu Vardhana Rao, M. and Polasa, K. (2008), "Knowledge and practices of food safety regulators in Southern India", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 110-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650810862984

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited