Diarrhea prevention through food safety education


Objective: Food safety education (FSE) was imparted in order to reduce the prevalence of diarrhea in children and improving the knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers regarding safe feeding practices.Methods: The study was conducted on mothers (n=200) of underprivileged children (6–24 months) throughAnganwadi workers (AWW). The food safety education package incorporated three messages: washing hands with soap and water, avoid feeding leftover food and keep surrounding clean. These were imparted using lectures, slogans, posters, charts, flash cards, role-play. Calendars and leaflets were also handed over to the mothers as education material. After food safety education intervention, the households were studied again as at the baseline, on various aspects.Result: There was 52% reduction in the incidence of diarrhea. The environmental sanitation and personal hygiene scores of most of the households and mothers improved. Improvement in the practice of hand-washing and avoidance of feeding leftovers to children was seen. There was reduction in the microbial load in the hand rinse samples of both mothers and children.Conclusion: AWW proved to be effective change agents and FSE was successful in bringing about a positive behavior modification in mothers.

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Correspondence to Mini Sheth.

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Sheth, M., Obrah, M. Diarrhea prevention through food safety education. Indian J Pediatr 71, 879–882 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02830824

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Key words

  • Food safety
  • Diarrhea
  • Children
  • Behavior modification
  • Mothers
  • Education