Food safety-related perspectives and practices of consumers and vendors in Ethiopia: A Scoping Review

Articles included in this review spanned eight of the ten regional states and two chartered cities, with most work focusing on urban areas and on a sample within one state or chartered city. Overall, 102 studies assessed food safety practices (n = 102); 53 studies examined knowledge, and 19 studies assessed attitudes. A gap in vendors’ observed practices versus knowledge and attitudes was noted. Consumer deductions of food safety were based on vendor practices. Both groups used physical attributes based on senses to assess quality and safety of animal-source foods, had their own ‘coping’ strategies to address food safety-related concerns, and had similar views on consumer choice motives. Analysis of food and the food handling environment revealed a high level of contamination. An additional study, included after the original search, identified training to be effective in influencing knowledge, attitudes, and practices – though results for attitudes and practices were not sustained in the long term. Future research should address consumers and consumer-vendor interactions and include the full triad of knowledge-attitudes-practices. It is also recommended to focus on nutrient-rich foods as well as on traditional markets and local eateries. Improving the quality of research will be critical to improve food safety in Ethiopia.

This article is adapted from an EatSafe program report.