AASoci  Vol.5 No.4 , April 2015
Street-Vended Local Food Systems Actors Perceptions on Safety in Urban Ghana: The Case of Hausa Koko, Waakye and Ga Kenkey
Abstract: Safe foods are those that do not cause any harm after their consumption. Food safety and its relationship with public health are of major concern to many people, especially, because of foods susceptibility to contamination. Literature on local foods addressed the biological processes of ingredients used in their preparation, and the nutritional, physical and safety aspects of foods. Generally, most food vendors and consumers were not concerned about hygienic practices but instead, about the social relations established between them and the aesthetics, the appearance and presentation of food. People do not take food risks seriously since they have several ways of dealing with it. They have different perceptions of food quality and safety. However, hygienic practices must go along with the different perceptions to achieve safety in street-vended local foods. Literature is limited on how actors define safety so that there is continue patronage of street foods in urban areas despite the concerns raised regarding vendors’ unhygienic practices. Using three street-vended local foods, Hausa Koko, Waakye and Ga Kenkey as case study, with qualitative and quantitative methods, this paper aimed to provide an understanding of how actors within the street-vended local food systems perceived safety. The study found several definitions of food safety, which showed the multidimensional nature and quality characteristics from key actors. Food safety was perceived in relation to the long processes of cooking; the fact that foods were served and eaten hot; the hygienic environments where foods were prepared and served; and when food eaten did not give any adverse after-effect. Despite these positive dimensions about food safety, some actors’ raised some negative concerns. These different dimensions of safety and the activities of all involved in the system, such as regulatory officers, consumers, and food vendors themselves, interact to construct the safety of street-vended local foods in Ghana.
Cite this paper: Haleegoah, J. , Ruivenkamp, G. , Essegbey, G. , Frempong, G. and Jongerden, J. (2015) Street-Vended Local Food Systems Actors Perceptions on Safety in Urban Ghana: The Case of Hausa Koko, Waakye and Ga Kenkey. Advances in Applied Sociology, 5, 134-145. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2015.54013.

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