PREVALENCE OF ENTERIC PARASITIC INFECTION AMONG FOOD HANDLERS IN ZAGAZIG AND ITS SURROUNDING
Maha S.Badawey1, Samira Metwaly1, K.G. Mahmoud2
1Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University,
2 Department of community, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University,
Food-handlers act as the reservoir and source of infection at the same time. Limited health education and lack of personal hygiene causing fecal contamination of foods by hands during food preparation, and so may be implicated in the transmission of many infections to their consumers in their community. The aim: to detect the prevalence of intestinal parasites among people working in the food service as a source of spread of infection Subjects: 250 asymptomatic food handlers involved. Data related to social and behavioral characteristics collected by a questionnaire. Faecal samples were collected and examined macro and microscopically. Collected data analyzed statistically. Results: multiple environmental and behavioral factors, (reduced hand cleaning with soap prior to food handling and after using the toilet and contact with soil) significantly increase the rate of infection81 (32.4%) positive stool specimens for different parasites. The prevalence of protozoa infections in this work was 22.8% and that of helminthic infections was 12%. Mixed intestinal parasite infections were detected in 2.4% of the study samples. The commonest parasites observed in this study were G.lamblia, E. histolytica/dispar, Taenia, Cryptosporidium, A. lumbricoides H. nana, E. vermicularies, T. tichuris and S. mansoni with prevalence rates (10%, 10%, 4%, 2.8%, 2.4%, 2%, 1.6%, 1.2% and 0.8%) in examined cases respectively. significant association between the prevalence of parasitic infection and the occupational category, the most affected category was fruit/vegetable sellers (55%) and the least affected one was restaurant workers (23%). In conclusion, the intestinal parasitic infection of food handlers in Zagazig and surrounding villages was high. The food handlers with different intestinal parasites may predispose to dangerous health problem among their consumers. Therefore, in order to reduce this problem, the following are recommended, stool examination with concentration techniques every three months and treatment of infected cases, regular follow up of the validity of health cards for foodhanlers.