Assessment of Information Needs of Cassava Processors on Food Safety Practices in Ogun and Oyo States, Nigeria

Badaru, R. A., Omoare, A. M., Oyediran, W. O.


Cassava is a major staple crop that can be processed into diverse products for human consumption in Nigeria. However, improper practices and lack of knowledge of food safety practices by food processors are contributing factors for the spread of food borne outbreaks. Everyone in the food and agro-processing sector therefore needs information on food safety for preventing food borne diseases and death. Hence, this study was carried out to assess information needs of cassava processors on food safety practices in Ogun and Oyo States, Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was used in the selection of 360 respondents for this study. Descriptive statistics, chi-square and Pearson Product Moment Correlation were used to analyze the data collected. Results of this study showed that the mean age of the respondents was 38.4 years, majority (79.7%) of the respondents was married, 41.9% had primary education; 35.8% of the respondents have spent more than 11 years in cassava processing. Ohori (62.3%) and Arubieru (37.7%) are the most processed varieties of cassava by the respondents; they processed 50 – 100kg/day using traditional equipment. Furthermore, many of the respondents did not have the knowledge that protective clothes such as apron, chef and cap should be worn during cassava processing (64.2%) and that blowing of nose and splitting during cassava processing cannot affect safety of food (67.5%). Meanwhile, most of the respondents need information on washing hands with soap and water before and after cassava processing (90.8%), and disposal of waste away from processing plant from time to time. Correlation results showed that there was a significant relationship between sources of information and food safety practices (r = 0.79, p = 0.01) at p < 0.05 level of significance.

Keywords: information needs, cassava processors, food safety practices,

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