1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In many developing countries including Nigeria street food vendors have formed an integral part of the food supply chain, particularly following the advent of urbanization [Akintoro O. 2012]. The street food industry has contributed immensely to human and economic development as studies conducted in some of the African countries like Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya have shown that major street food vendors usually earn above the countries’ minimum wage [Aderoju 2008]. The socioeconomic role of the street food sector in terms of its potential for employment creation, yielding income particularly for women, and provision of food at affordable cost to lower income groups in the cities has been documented. In Nigeria, urban city dwellers spend as much as half of their food expenditure on street foods [Tavonga 2014]
SARS-Cov-2 virus is still affecting the life style and threatening the life of many people nationally and internationally. World Health Organization (WHO) put many regulations for all the countries to keep social distancing between individuals and working from distance to reduce the transmission of SARS-Cov-2 virus.
In the food factories the ability to work from home is impossible, and the workers need to work in places and together, so keeping food workers safe along the food chain is very big challenge (Wei, W.et al. 2020). All researches approved that that SARS_CoV-2 affects directly the respiratory system and is transmitted easily through droplets when infected persons are coughing or sneezing (Tong, Z. et al. 2020). The contamination of the surfaces and objects with heavy droplets will occur, So these inanimate objects can be good vehicles to transfer the virus (Tong, Z. et al. 2020). It was found that the survival time for SARS_CoV-2 virus on plastic and stainless steel is up to 72 hours, on copper up to four hours and on cardboard up to 24 hours (Wei, W.et al. 2020). However, most virus on the surface of common materials becomes inactive (noninfectious) after the first 24 hours (WHO, FAO. 2020).
The knowledge of food handlers and vendors in many local food factories and their attitude to hygiene food practices need evaluation in the light of COVID-19 pandemic.Their knowledge of the principles of food hygiene needs refreshing, to eliminate the risk of contamination of food, or food packaging as well as other surfaces during processing. (Sharif, L. et al. 2010). The transmission of SRS-Cov-2 virus among food handlers will be a worldwide issue and preventing spreading of the virus have captured many organizations all over the world. Thus there is a need to examine the impact of Covid-19 on food vendors.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the fear of the spread of covid-19, it is necessary that food sold in street are properly monitored to help curb the spread of covid-19. As in other developing countries, the street food sector in Nigeria is confronted with challenges. There is inadequate supervision and proper monitoring by food safety officers and the enforcement of food hygiene regulation is weak; lack of training in food safety and good hygiene practices is also rife among food handlers. Hence street foods are at risk of contamination, often at all stages of handling. Street foods are sometimes stored at improper temperatures and sold from vending sites which include kiosks, make-shift accommodation, and push carts as well as other temporary structures . They are prepared at very dirty surroundings with waste water and garbage disposed nearby, providing nutrient and breeding ground for rodents and vermin . In most cases running water is not available at vending sites, washing of hands and crockery are done in bowls or buckets and sometimes without soap. Furthermore the conditions under which street food is prepared and vended are worsened by weak implementation of relevant environmental and public health regulations. Thus is it against this backdrop that this study seek to examine the effect of covid-19 on food vendors.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at examining the effect of covid-19 on food vendors. Specifically it is geared
- To examine if covid-19 caused low sales to food vendors
- To access the implication of food processing under poor environment
- To investigate the effect of covid-19 on food vending
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at examining the impact of covid-19 on food vendors. Specifically it will examine the tendency of spreading covid-19 through food. It will access the implication of food processing under poor environment. Furthermore it will investigate the impact of covid-19 on food vending. This study is delimited to selected eateries and restaurant in FCT Abuja.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study in general will contribute to the general body of knowledge. Moreso it will enlighten food vendors on the need to continuously maintain standard environmental and personal hygiene while processing and packaging food. Furthermore it would create an awareness among government body such as NAFDAC on the need to set up monitoring teams to do regular checks on the activities of food vendors in other to curb the spread of corona virus.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant implication of corona virus on food processing and packaging
H0: there is no significant effect of covid-19 on food vendors
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are
- Inadequate finance: the research was face with problem of inadequate fund which hinder the researcher from shuttering to Access Banks within Lagos more so in printing and collation of questionnaires
- Time constraint: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS:
COVID-19:Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2.
Lockdown:A lockdown is a restriction policy for people or community to stay where they are, usually due to specific risks to themselves or to others if they can move and interact freely.
Food Vendor: A food vendor process and prepares and sells ready-to-eat food to the public. Food vending typically takes place at food concessions such as eateries, restaurant, mobile fending, street side etc.