Journal of Infectious Diseases and Treatment Offener Zugang


Magnitude of Intestinal Parasites among Food Handlers Working in Food Service Establishments in Gondar Town, Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross Sectional Study

Hailegebriel Wondimu1*, Mestawut Mihret1, Zelalem Addis2, Feleke Moges3

Background: As in most of African countries, intestinal parasites have been widely distributed in Ethiopia and are among the ten top causes of morbidity and mortality nationwide. Statistics for food borne illness in various industrialized countries show that up to 60% of cases may be caused by poor food handling techniques and by contaminated food served in food service establishments. Epidemiological information on the prevalence of various intestinal parasitic infections in different regions/localities is a prerequisite to develop appropriate strategies.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers working in different food service establishments in Gondar town.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on food handlers working in different food service establishments in Gondar town. Stool samples were collected from 140 food handlers and processed using formol-ether concentration method and then microscopically examined for intestinal parasitic infections. Pre-tested and structured questionnaire was used to study the socio-demographic characteristics of food handlers. Chi-square test and P value were used to assess associations between risk factors and the parasite isolation rate.

Results: Of the 140 food handlers surveyed for intestinal parasites, 64 (45.75%) had parasites. prevalence of Ascaris lumricoides was the highest (28.75%), followed by Hookworm (15.18%), Entamoeba histilitica/dispar (14.29%), Giardia lamblia (12.99%), Trichuris trichuria (10.39%), Shistosoma mansoni (7.79%), Strongyloides stercoralis (6.4%) and Isospora belli, Hymeolopsis nana and Taenia species each accounting 1.3%. Being an illiterate and inactive role of the town municipality are determined as a risk factor for parasitic positivity of food handlers.

Conclusion: The finding of parasites in food handlers predict as they are potential source of infection to their customers. The active roles of the town municipality and educating food handlers have a great impact on reduction of parasitic positivity of food handlers.