Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 15, No 7 (2019)

Quality and Safety Awareness of Ready-To-Eat Foods among Rural Households in Yewa Communities of Ogun State, Nigeria

Ologbon Olugbenga Adesoji Christopher, Amokaye Victoria Omotolani, Aderinto Aderanti, Yangomodou Oluwapamilerin Damola, Ologbon Kuburat Titilayo, Olugbemi Moyosore Titilope


More often than not, intervention programmes of developing nations on access to calorie-based foods against hunger and malnutrition supersede those designed to ensure the quality and safety of food. Thus, advocacy for food adequacy takes pre-eminence over food quality and safety. Food hazards can arise at various stages of the food chain, from primary production to consumption, and climate change may have unpredictable impacts on their occurrences. This study had analyzed the quality and safety awareness of ready-to-eat-foods among rural households in the Yewa communities of Ogun State, Nigeria. It was based on primary data obtained in a cross-sectional survey of 240 respondents drawn by multi-stage sampling technique across ten communities in the study area, using a set of pre-tested structured questionnaire. Data were obtained on households’ socio-economic characteristics, their response behaviour to food quality and safety awareness, and food consumption expenditures, and were analysed using simple descriptive tools, probit and ordinary least-square regression techniques. From the results obtained, respondents’ mean age, household size and annual income were 41 years, 5 members, and N249,167 respectively. 70% of the respondents were male, informally engaged (68%), with an average of 4 years formal education. With respect to food safety awareness, 79%, 76% and 58% of the household heads hardly confirmed expiration dates or damages on food packs, nor followed manufacturers’ instructions before consuming packaged foods. Thus, almost 79% of the respondents disagreed that packaged foods were no longer safe for consumption after expiration, but agreed that refrigeration keeps cooked food safe, while 86% of them emphasized the need to ascertain the source(s) of foodstuffs. As for food quality awareness, 91% of the respondents were concerned about the cleanliness of food preparation sites while 98% always examined food packs to discover damages on the seal. About 83% of the respondents usually discarded mouldy portions off rotten foods; 61% regularly consumed rotten food so far they were cheap and affordable, while 60% never bothered to pre-taste food leftovers to ascertain their quality status before consumption. Result of the probit regression showed that higher educational attainment (0.049; p<0.05), formal sector job engagement (0.162; p<0.10), household’s out-sourced food budget (0.473; p<0.05) and foodstuff importation practices (0.413; p<0.05) increased the probability of household being conscious of safety practices on foods consumed away from home, while spouses’ income (-0.573; p<0.01) and large healthcare budget (-0.386 p<0.01) decreased it. Factors that enhanced households’ consumption expenditure on packaged foods include increased household head income (0.692; p<0.01), large household size (0.204; p<0.05), educational attainment (0.359; p<0.01) and the proportion of infants in the household (0.398; p<0.01). Prioritising intervention programmes to promote higher educational attainment and access to formal-sector employment opportunities were recommended to increase quality and safety consciousness of the rural households to packaged foods.


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