The Effect of Catering Policies on Food Safety at National Youth Service Catering Units in Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya

Ndaramu, Gitu Onesmus, Ann Kariuki, Richard Makopondo


Food safety is a practice that preserves the quality of food to prevent contamination that can lead to food-borne illnesses. Food safety is a globally endorsed training-aspect issue within the hospitality industry. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of catering policies on food safety at the National Youth Catering Units in Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design comprising of mixed research methodology. The target population in this study consisted of 121 employees in NYS catering department. Census method was used in determining the study population since the population was low and thus could be reached entirely. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire, an observation checklist and an interview guide and then analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Quantitative data was, coded and processed by use of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and presented into percentage tables and graphs. Inferential statistics included the regression analysis, correlation analysis and analysis of variance.  The study revealed that there are written and well regarded food safety policies and procedure in the work areas of staff that give detailed guidance for practices, but management falls short of providing adequate and timely information about current food safety rules and regulations. The study also concludes that even though to some extent the management of the catering department at NYS catering units do not take risks when it comes to food safety and thus are cautious, not all necessary information for handling food safely is readily available to the staff. In addition, though the management provides safe food to customers and makes efforts to ensure safe food handling is practiced as its top priority the catering department has a shortfall in providing adequate training to the staff in order to improve employees’ food safety practices, even though the staff are aware it is important. Nonetheless, most of the staff makes efforts to follow and practice food safety rules due to awareness of their importance rather than fear of legal prosecution. The catering units also encourage teamwork between new and old employees as a measure of enhancing food safety. However, there lacked good cooperation among departments to ensure that consumers receive safely prepared food. Overall, the staff views indicated that food safety policies and procedures help to ensure that safe food handling practices are followed. The study recommends that management should strive to always providing adequate and timely information about current food safety rules and regulations and should also offer more in-service training for the staff. The management should also encourage partnership and collaboration between different departments in order to enhance safe food production. This study is of benefit to educational managers, food handlers, students, privately and public owned learning or training institution and public corporations. The findings could inform the Government on areas of improvements to enhance food safety practices in public institutions, thus putting measures where necessary. This study has documented empirical findings for reference by researchers, academicians and policy makers.

Keywords: Catering Policies, Food Safety

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ISSN (Paper) 2312-5187   ISSN (Online) 2312-5179

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