Currency Notes as Pathogenic Risk Sources for Street Foods in Ghana: A Study at a Suburb of Kumasi City

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Dwumfour-Asare, Bismark
Richard, Amankwah Kuffour
Collins, Kuffour
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International Journal of Health Sciences & Research
Unhygienic practices among street food vendors usually raise public health concerns. This paper assessed one such unhygienic practice of handling currency notes and serving food with bare hands, a potential for pathogenic cross-contamination. Data on 80 vendors was collected at Ayigya community, a commercial enclave of Kumasi in Ghana. 20 currency notes of denominations GHS 1, 2, 5 & 10 were sampled from five vendors for microbial analyses. About 62% of customers mostly used currency notes, and 94% of vendors received customers’ monies themselves instead of hired assistants. Vendors whose bare hands touched food while serving were 54% and 45% of all vendors handled money and served food concurrently with their bare hands. All currency notes (100%) were contaminated with microbial loads: 6.3 - 10 log10cfu (GHS 1), 5.2 - 8.6 log10cfu (GHS 2), 7 - 8.3 log10cfu (GHS 5) & 7.6 - 9.3 log10cfu (GHS 10). Microbial load per unit surface area of currency note and specific microbial isolates are discussed in the paper. There is high risk of pathogenic cross contamination of food due to unhygienic handling of money and serving food with bare hands.
AmankwahKuffour, R., Dwumfour-Asare, B., & Kuffour, C. (2015). Currency notes as pathogenic risk sources for street foods in Ghana: A study at a suburb of Kumasi City. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research, 5(12), 336-345.