Back ground: Food borne disease outbreaks have resulted from unhygienic food handling and preparation practices within food establishments consequently have severe social and economic impacts on the human population. This study was aimed at exploring the prevalence of Shigella species and S. typhi carrier rate among food handlers at Gondar University students cafeteria.
Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among food handlers working at Gondar University students cafeteria. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for collecting data. Stool samples were investigated for Shigella species out break and S. typhi as per the standard of laboratory methods.
Result: Among 395 food handlers, females comprised 289 (73.2%). The majority 220 (55.7%) were young adults 18-28 years. Fifty three (13.4%) of the food handlers have active diarrhea during the study period. Stool cultures revealed the isolation of 10(2.5%) of Shigella species. No S. typhi was isolated. All shigella species were sensitive for ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone. Thirty percent of the isolates were resistant for amoxicillin and tetracycline.
Conclusion: Isolation of Shigella species from food handlers pose significant risk on the students population being served in the cafeteria. Therefore, it is essential for University of Gondar to implement food handlers training on food safety, conduct periodic medical checkup and continuous monitoring of personal hygiene.
Key words: Food handlers;Shigella species;Gondar