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Hygiene and nutritional content of the National School Nutrition Programme in Bloemfontein, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Groenewald, W.H.
dc.contributor.advisor Lues, J.F.R.
dc.contributor.author Nhlapo, Nthabiseng
dc.contributor.other Central University of Technology, Free State. School of Life Sciences
dc.date.accessioned 2014-10-18T22:14:27Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-18T22:14:27Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/180
dc.description Thesis (M. Tech. (Environmental Health)) -- Central University of technology, Free State, 2013 en_US
dc.description.abstract Malnutrition and concomitant infections are major contributing factors to child morbidity and mortality in developing countries such as South Africa. Globally, children benefiting from school feeding programmes are generally from communities with low socio-economic statuses. The meals provided through feeding schemes, such as the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in South Africa, are aimed at significantly supplementing the beneficiaries’ daily energy and nutrient requirements. The possible nutrient deficiency of meals provided through such programmes compromises the nutritional well-being of children, promotes malnutrition and renders children more susceptible to infectious diseases. Furthermore, illness, particularly caused by diarrhoeal and infectious diseases, is a major factor contributing to child malnutrition as the human body is unable to efficiently digest foods and absorb nutrients during illness. Therefore, the microbiological safety of the foods served to children via feeding schemes is essential. In an effort to contribute towards the safety and wholesomeness of foodstuffs served through the NSNP, the present study was conducted with a view to assess the nutritional quality and safety of the foodstuffs. The knowledge, attitudes and practises (KAP) of food handlers and NSNP representatives/committee members at the schools were also investigated in order to assess origins of potential food contamination. Data collected via nutritional analyses of meals served to school children were compared to the nutrient-based standards set by the United Kingdom as guidelines for an average school lunch. The carbohydrate, energy, calcium and zinc contents of the school meals were below the standards, the majority of the meals met the protein and iron standards and all meals complied with the standards for lipid and vitamin C contents. During the microbiological analysis study, preparation surfaces yielded higher counts of all detected organisms (total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and yeasts and moulds) compared to the hands of food handlers. Therefore possible sources of contamination may be foodstuffs, animal pests and environmental elements such as dust. However, significant differences of surface microbial counts could not be established (P > 0.05) and thus cross-contamination may have resulted among surfaces, possibly augmented by shortfalls in cleaning regimes. The majority of the participants of the questionnaire survey reportedly washed their hands and cleaned all surfaces several times during the day with water and detergent. In addition, a disinfectant was used by some of the food preparers during cleaning. Furthermore, participants stated that their aprons were washed daily. These claims were in agreement with the findings of the surface microbial study with regards to the hands, however, they did not match the findings of the preparation surfaces which contained the highest counts of total coliforms, E. coli and S. aureus of the three surfaces analysed, and aprons responsible for the highest yeast and mould counts. Improper storage and food preparation methods, such as the application of high temperatures, excessive exposure to UV light and oxygen, and high moisture conditions, may result in the deterioration of nutrients. Storage conditions which may permit pest infestation may also increase the risk of food-related illnesses and risk could be further elevated by application of improper cleaning and sanitation practices. In order for the NSNP to operate effectively, it is essential that the national and provincial Departments of Basic Education, which are responsible for the overall administration of the NSNP, and schools’ personnel function in an integrated manner through support structures and effective communication. Infrastructural limitations (lack of proper kitchen facilities and ventilation) and shortage of resources while administering the NSNP were the main challenges observed during the present study. Due to these hurdles, adhering to food safety practices and maintaining nutritional quality of foods may be a challenge. Continuous training in personal and general hygiene is also a necessity in preserving food safety. Furthermore, nutritional quality of foodstuffs may be preserved through proper storage practices and application of preparation methods which minimize loss of nutrients. en_US
dc.format.extent 892 096 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher [Bloemfontein?] : Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject Central University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations en_US
dc.subject National school lunch program - South Africa - Bloemfontein en_US
dc.subject Children - Nutrition - Health aspects en_US
dc.subject Food handling - Health aspects en_US
dc.subject Hygiene en_US
dc.subject Food contamination - Safety measures en_US
dc.subject Food - Storage en_US
dc.subject Dissertations, Academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein en_US
dc.title Hygiene and nutritional content of the National School Nutrition Programme in Bloemfontein, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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