A longitudinal study was conducted to examine individual worker and institutional hygiene practices and bacterial contamination in food service facilities at Makerere University. Questionnaires regarding food service knowledge, attitudes, and practices were administered to 94 individual and institutional respondents from 16 facilities through in-person interviews. A total of 48 samples (3 per facility) were analyzed for evidence of contamination (total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, coliforms, Escherichia coli, Salmonella). Respondents with higher education levels had better knowledge and attitudes regarding food safety, but knowledge in specific areas were varied. The majority of individual workers used safe food handling practices, but the majority of institutions did not practice good environmental hygiene. The majority of food samples tested had APC and total coliform levels higher than acceptable, but only two tested positive for Salmonella. Food service worker training and managerial improvement of environmental hygiene are needed to improve food safety in these facilities.
Key words: Food safety, food service workers, coliforms, E. coli.