Food Safety Perspectives and Practices of Consumers and Vendors in Nigeria: A Review

The purpose of this review is to explore prior research on the food safety perspectives and practices of consumers and vendors in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. Through a systematic search and review process, 87 relevant studies were identified. The results of the review indicated that most studies were concentrated in urban areas and in the southwest, south, and central regions. Most of the studies (64.4%) focused only on vendors; only one study focused on both consumers and vendors. The most common food category studied was prepared ready-to-eat foods, and 81% of studies did not focus on any specific food safety hazard, instead examining general food safety issues. Sixty studies (69%) used a single data-collection method, most commonly an individual-level structured survey. In terms of topics, most studies focused on the respondent's food safety-related knowledge (66.7%) or self-reported practices (63.2%). Eleven studies (12.6%) examined actual practices via observations, while nine (10.3%) included observations of the food preparation or sale environment. Studies tended to find participants' knowledge to be better than their self-reported practices, with observed practices being worse than self-reported practices. Studies suffered from certain methodological weaknesses. Based on the results of this review, it is concluded that future research on food safety in Nigeria would benefit from greater focus on fruits and vegetables and traditional markets, less reliance on closed-ended survey questions and self-reported data, and more focus on understanding individuals' food safety motivations, beliefs, and values within specific cultural contexts.