Evaluation of Food Safety and Hygienic Practices in the Tourism Industry: A Case Study of Some Selected Restaurants in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana

In Ghana, although a number of regulations are in place to guide caterers in their operations, hygienic practices among restaurants in the Kumasi Metropolitan area are inadequate. The hospitality industry alone accounts for about 44% of all the reported food-borne illness outbreaks. The main objective of the study was to assess and evaluate the extent at which licensed restaurants in the Kumasi Metropolis observe food safety and hygienic practices regulations in food provision. Fifty (50) respondents were drawn from the population under study, specifically from staff, managers and regulatory bodies including the Metropolitan Assembly. Primary data was collected from the three groups. Questionnaires were administered and in-depth interview was conducted. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data collected from the respondents in the survey. The study showed that customers in the selected restaurants were very much satisfied at the extent by which restaurants in the Kumasi Metropolis observe and apply the food safety and hygienic practices. It was also revealed that there is adequate evidence to show that formal education and professional training have a significant impact on food safety and hygienic practices of caterers and restaurant managers in the tourism industry in the Kumasi Metropolis. The study recommends that restaurants in the metropolis should be encouraged to sponsor their workers to enroll in some professional programmes to acquire more knowledge for the purpose of practicing food safety and hygiene in the restaurant business. It is further recommended that regulatory bodies should improve their performance by maintaining high standard of food hygiene.