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1.1 Background to the Study
From 1973 - 1999, a little over 600 food borne disease outbreaks in American schools were reported to the centre for Disease Control (2001). They resulted in nearly 50,000 illnesses and more than 1500 hospitalizations (Daniels et al., 2000; Daniels,2002). The figures are worrisome given that food borne illnesses are grossly under reported, mainly because symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal cramps mirror those common stomach viruses ( McCabe and Beattie,2004; Flanigan, 2006). Practices identified as contributing to outbreaks in schools include improper refrigeration, prolonged handling and inadequate reheating of cooked food and contamination of food by food handlers who worked while I'll or had poor personal hygiene ( panisello et al., 2000; Daniels, 2002; Hedberg et al., 2006).
Mandatory requirement of routine hygiene and food safety training for food handlers is required in schools with heightened monitoring, surveillance and law enforcement on acceptable practices. Supplier control across the food chain to reduce physical and chemical contaminants in agro products and food vendor access control is required. Also, effort must be made to adhere strictly to hygiene measures by following good hygiene practices and stringently implenting hazard analysis critical control points along the whole food chain (Powell et al., 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Epidemiological data on food borne disease outbreaks in Nigerian boarding schools is not available but poor storage practises coupled with poor personal hygiene and lack of knowledge in food safety practices which is inherent with food handlers in boarding schools are causes for concern ( Oranusi et al., 2007).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study is to evaluate the quality and quantity of diet serve in boarding secondary school, which was achieved through the following specific objectives:
(i) Hazard analysis of different stages of the food preparation.
(ii) Microbiological evaluation of the various types of food.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What food (diet) quality and quantity?
2. what is food safety?
3. which secondary boarding schools are of target for the research?
4. What are the various (routine) diet served in these boarding secondary schools?
5. What is time frame (duration) of the research work?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study gives a clear insight into the quality and quantity of diet served in some of the boarding secondary schools. It also gives a clear insight into poor storage practices couples with poor personal hygiene and lack of knowledge in food safety practices that is inherent with food handlers in boarding secondary schools. The recommendations and findings of this research such as the need to improve the quality and variety of school meals could also reduce dependence on other sources for food and help in controlling food safety risks. So also the need to increase awareness on the appropriate channels to report food borne disease incidence in schools for effective control measures and infection treatment.
1.6 Scope of the study
The research focuses on the quality and quantity of diet serve in selected boarding secondary School in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Students felt reluctant to fill the questionnaire that was used to collect data from them.