Food Safety Awareness and Practices Among Vendors and Consumers of Macrotermes subhyalinus
Edible-winged termites in Kenya, especially in Kakamega County, are widely consumed and offer an opportunity for food security and income generation during the swarming season. However, the processing and marketing of termites lack scientific evidence on food safety and hygiene, leading to potential contamination. This study was conducted to establish food safety awareness among termite vendors and consumers in Kakamega County. Data was collected through questionnaires and assessment tools, and the results showed that 98% of respondents consume termites, with the majority having secondary-level education and farming as their main occupation. The study revealed that the consumption of raw termites poses more risks compared to cooked termites. Moreover, inadequate food safety practices were observed among vendors, such as lack of handwashing, proper wear, and clean preparation surfaces, which exposes consumers to health risks. The study recommends educating stakeholders in the termite value chain on food safety and hygiene practices and enforcing food safety policies by the government to achieve food safety
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