Evaluating the Food Handlers’ Hygiene Practices as Determinants of Customer Choice at Selected African Indigenous Restaurants in Nairobi City County, Kenya

  • Mwangi Paul N. Kenyatta University
  • Monica A. Wandolo Kenyatta University
  • Maranga V. N Kenyatta University
  • Mary Mutisya-Mutungi Kenyatta University


Dining is a common phenomenon in major cities and towns, especially in modern lifestyle where people have limited time due to work and other related engagements. Indigenous restaurants have become a preference for most consumers although their patronage varies, attributed to various push factors such as health, curiosity and variety. Although hygiene is an important aspect in choosing where to dine, most customers are not keen to observe it. This study explored food handlers’ hygiene practices as determinants of customers’ choice of selected African indigenous restaurants’ in Nairobi City County, Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive survey targeting 15 selected African indigenous restaurants. Cochran formula was used to determine a sample size of three hundred and eighty-four (384) customers from a population of 2,560 through convenient sampling. Data collection instruments were two questionnaires, an interview guide and an observation checklist. Qualitative data was ordered, coded and summarized in compilation sheets for easier analysis in addition to inferential statistics. Quantitative data was analyzed using statistical packages for social sciences with levels of significance established using paired tests with a cut-off point of P < 0.05, (95%) confidence and significance levels. Chi square Pearson’s correlation coefficient tests were calculated to identify the correlation between food handlers’ hygiene practices and customers’ choice of restaurants. The findings presented a c 2 = 4.244, df* = 2 and p = 0.133 which is > 0.05. With a significance level > 0.05 (0.133), the alternative hypothesis (H1) was rejected. The findings showed that there was no significant relationship between the two variables. Most customers were not keen on hygiene standards as evidenced in some restaurants where regardless of the poor hygiene practices present, there were still high flows of customers. The study concluded that even though hygiene practices have an effect on the customers’ choice of the restaurants, the effect is not significant. The study recommended the public health authorities in the urban centers to educate all restaurant stakeholders on food hygiene regulations and inform consumers about hazards associated with improper handling of food. The study further recommended that restaurants operators to adhere to the food hygiene regulations and similar studies to be done in other localities, in rural restaurants, and to incorporate more restaurants

Keywords: Food Handlers’, Hygiene Practices, Customer Choice & African Indigenous Restaurants.

Author Biographies

Mwangi Paul N., Kenyatta University

Post Graduate Student

Monica A. Wandolo, Kenyatta University


Maranga V. N, Kenyatta University


Mary Mutisya-Mutungi, Kenyatta University



Ajzen, I. (2011). Theory of planned behavior: a bibliography. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from the World Wide Web: http://people.umass.edu/aizen/tpbrefs.html

Akbar, Y.A.A. & Alaudeen, M.S.S. (2012). Determinant of factors that influence consumer in choosing normal full-service restaurants: Case in Seri Iskandar, Perak. South East Asian. Journal of Contemporary Business, Economics and Law, 1(4): 137-145.

Akinyele, S.T. (2010). Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality: Customer’s Re-Patronage Perspectives. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 10(6):83-90.

Barber, N., & Scarcelli J.M. (2009).”Clean restaurant: How important are they to restaurant customers?” Journal of food service, 20 (6): 309-320.

Bas, M., Ersun, A.S. & Kivanc, G.(2016). The evaluation of food hygiene knowledge, attitudes, and practices of food handlers’ in food businesses in Turkey. Food Control, 17: 317-322.

Brewer, M. S. and M. Rojas (2012). Consumer attitudes toward issues in food safety. Journal of Food Safety 28(3): 1-22.

Brotherton, B.(2008). Researching Hospitality and Tourism. Student Guide. Crossing the empirical research design.Sage publication.pp.45-51.

Campos, A..K.C., Cardonha, A.M.S., Pinheiro, L.B.G., Ferreira, N.R., Azevedo, P.R.M. and Stamford, T. L. M. (2009). Assessment of Personal Hygiene and Practices of Food handlers in Municipal Public Schools of Natal, Brazil,” Food Control, Vol.2, No. 10, pp.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Preliminary Food net data on the incidence of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food: 10 States, United States, 2005. Mobility and Mortality weekly report, 55 (14):392-395.

Chukwuocha, U.M.,, Dozie, I.N., Amadi, A.N., Nwankwo, B.O., Ukoga, C. N., Aguwa, O. C., Abanobi, O. C., &, Nwoke, E. A. (2009). The knowledge, attitude and practice of food handlers’ in food sanitation in a metropolis in South Eastern Nigeria: East Africa Journal of Public Health, 6 (3): 240-243.

Eat Out. (2014). African Restaurants in Kenya. Retrieved on August 30th, 2014, from http://www.eat out.co.ke /restaurants/Cuisine/African?

Ellis, J., Arendt, S., Strohbehn, C., Meyer, J., & Paez, P. (2010). Varying influences of motivation factors on employees’ likelihood to perform safe food handling practices because of demographic differences. Journal of Food Protection, 73, 2065-2071.

Enz, C. A. (2014). Issues of concern for restaurant owners and managers [Electronic version]. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 45(4), 315-332. 24th July 2015 from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/359/

Fatiregun, A.A.; Oyebade, O.A.; Oladokun, L. (2010,). Investigation of an outbreak of food poisoning in a resource-limited setting. Tropical Journal of Health. 17: 1117–4153.

Fields, R. (2014). Restaurants’ Success by the numbers. (2nd Eds.) : A Money-Guy's Guide to Opening the Next New Hot Spot. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press;

Food and Drug Administration. (2009). FDA reports the occurrence of food borne illness risk factors in selected institutional food service, restaurant and retail food store facility types, US: FDA National Retail Food Team. Retrieved July 21, 2014, Fromhttp://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/retail-foodprotection/ Food code/ucm 2019396.

Grace, D. (2015). Food safety in low and middle-income countries. International Journal of Environmental Resources. Public Health. 12: 10490–10507.

Hejar,A.,NorAfiah,M.,Hayati,K.,Salmiah,S.,Yusma,M.andTiti,R.(2011), “Cleanliness of food in Bahau”, Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 11 (3): 31.

Jan, S., & Liu.Y.H. (2009). Perceptions of Chinese restaurants in the US. What affects customer satisfaction and behavioral intention? International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28 (3): 338-348.

Jan, S., & Namkung,Y.(2009). Perceived quality, emotion and behavior intention: Application of an extended Mehrabian-Russell model to restaurants: Journal of Business Research. 62(4):451- 460

Jang, S., Liu , Y., Namkung, Y., (2011) "Effects of authentic atmospherics in ethnic restaurants: investigating Chinese restaurants", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23 (5): 662 - 680

Jiang XP, Doyle MP (2009). Fate of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella enteritidis on currency. Journal of Food Protection, 62: 805–807.

Jones, T.F. and Angulo, F.J. (2016).Eating in restaurants: A risk factor for food borne diseases. Oxford Journal Medicine Lyrical Infection diseases, 43(10): 1324-1328

Katie, F. & Douglas, A. Powell. (2009). The use of restaurants’ inspections disclosure system as a means of communicating food safety information. Journal of food service, 20 (6):287-297.

Kim, W.G., & Moon, Y. J. (2009). Customers’ cognitive emotional and actionable response to the service scale: A test of the moderating effect of the restaurant type: International journal of hospitality management 28 (1): 144-156.

Kubde SR, Pattankar J, Kokiwar PR. (2016). Knowledge and food hygiene practices among food handlers in food establishments. International Journal of Community Medicine. Public Health,3: 251-6

Lee, L.E; Niode O; Simonne, A.H; Bruhn, C.M.(2012).Food Control :Consumer perceptions on food safety in Asian and Mexican restaurants. Journal of Food Control, 26: 31-538

Magda A.M.A., Latif. Siham E. Suliman., AngaraGibney, M., De Almeida, M.D.,

Massawe, D.M. (2013). Customer satisfaction and complaints as a means of gaining a competitive advantage in Hospitality Industry. The Eastern African Journal of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism, 1(1): 1-10

Maina, T.S.N., Kamau, L., Kabiru, E.W., Ogata, B.R. and Shitandi A. (2013). Evaluation of Bacteriological Quality of Aircraft Food at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,Nairobi, Kenya. Science Research 1(1): 1-8.

Markovina, J., Stewart-Knox, B.J., Rankin, A., M. and Abdalla, M.A. (2012). Assessment of bacterial contamination of sheep carcasses at slaughterhouse in Khartoum state of Sudan. Journal of Science and Technology13 (2): 714- 76.

Mathews, J. (2011). Food and Health Survey: Consumer attitudes towards food safety, nutrition and health. International food information council foundation: Retrieved July 21, 2014fromhttp://www.foodinsight.org/2011_Food_Health_Survey_Consumer_Attitudes_ Toward_Food_Safety_Nutrition_Health.

Mauer, W.A, Kaneene, J.B, DeArman, V. T, Roberts, C.A, Pong, L and Dickey, T.E.(2006). Ethnic –food safety concerns: An online survey of food safety professionals. Journal of Environmental health, 68 (10), 32-38.

Mugenda, O.M., & Mugenda, A.G. (2008). Research methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, Nairobi, Kenya, Acts press.

Muinde R.K., Kiinyukia C, Rombo G.O. & Muoki M.A. (2012). Hygiene Practices in Urban Restaurants and challenges to implementing food safety and hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) programs in Thika town, Kenya. Retrieved on Dec20th, 2016 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2685245

Muinde OK, Kuria E. (2005). Hygienic and sanitary practices of vendors of street foods in Nairobi, Kenya. African Journal of Food Agriculture Nutrition Development.5 (1):1-14.

Namkung, Y., & Jang, S. (2009). Does food quality really matter in restaurants? Its impact on customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 31(3): 387-410.

Ogutu, K. (2012). Current State of Nairobi Metropolitan Region and Area. Retrieved August 23, 2014, from http://KevinOgutu.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/current-state-of-Nairobi-Metropolitant- region-and-area.

Park, S., Kwak, T., & Chang, H. (2010). Evaluation of the food safety training for food handlers in restaurant operations: Nutrition Research and Practice, 4 (1): 58-68.

Patron, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. London: Sage Publications. Queensland Government. (2014). Food Safety. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from the World Wide Web: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/foodsafety.

Redmond, E. C., and Griffith, C. J. (2005).Consumer perceptions of food safety risk, control and responsibility. Appetite, 43(3): 309-313.

Sarah T. P. M., Daleen V.D. M, Hanli D., Magdalena J. C. B., & Annamarie K. (2012). Consumers’ beliefs on indigenous and traditional foods and acceptance of products made with cowpea leaves. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(14): 2243-2254.

Simonne, A. H., Nille, A., Evans, K., & Marshall, M. R. (2004). Ethnic food Safety Trends in the United States Based on the CDC Food Borne illness data. Food Protection Trends, 24: 590-604.

Tuttle, B. (2012).Nothing to Hide: Why Restaurants Embrace the Open Kitchen. 2017 Time Inc. Retrieved from http://business.time.com/2012/08/20/nothing-to-hide-why-restaurants-embrace-the-open-kitchen/on 20th September 2016.

Ungku F, U.Z.A, Boo, H.C., Sanbasivan, M.& Salleh, R. (2011). Food service hygiene factors that Consumer perspective. International Journal of hospitality Management, 30(1):38-45.

Ungku Fatimah, U., Boo, H., Sambasivan, M., & Salleh, R. (2010). Food service Hygiene Factors. The Consumers Perspective. International Journal of Hospitality Management,30:38-45.doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2010.04.001 Retrieved September 29th ,2014 from the www:http://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/view content.cgi? article=1195&context

Usman, E. (2012). Factors important for the selection of fast food restaurants: An empirical study across three entries in Pakistan. British’s Food Journal. 114(9): 1251-1264

Walker E, Pritchard C, Forsythe S (2009). Food handler’s hygiene knowledge in small food businesses. Food Control, 14(5): 339–343.

World Travel Guide. (2014). Restaurants in Nairobi: Columbus Travel Media Ltd. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from http: // www.Worldtravel/ guide.net/ Nairobi/restaurants.

Yamane T.(1967).Statistics, An introduction Analysis, (2nd Eds.).New York: Harper and Row.

Yong, C.K., Siang D.O.C., Lok, T.W and Kuan W.Y. (2013). Factors Influencing Dining Experience on Customer Satisfaction and revisit intention among undergraduate students towards Fast Food Restaurants. Retrieved on 24th June 2016 from file://C:/Users/user/Downloads/Factors_Influencing_Dining-Experience on_Customer_ Satisfaction_and_Revisit_Intention_among_Undergraduates towards _Fast_Food~1.pdf

Yusliza, M.Y., & Shankar, C. (2010). Adjustment in International Students in Malaysian University: International Journal of innovation Management and Technology, 1(3): 273-278

Zain M.M and Naing N.N. (2012). Socio demographic characteristics of food handlers and their Knowledge, attitude and practice towards food sanitation: A preliminary report. South East Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine. Public Health. 33(2):41
How to Cite
N., M., Wandolo, M., N, M., & Mutisya-Mutungi, M. (2018). Evaluating the Food Handlers’ Hygiene Practices as Determinants of Customer Choice at Selected African Indigenous Restaurants in Nairobi City County, Kenya. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 1(1), 57 - 76. Retrieved from https://stratfordjournals.org/journals/index.php/Journal-of-Hospitality/article/view/204