ANALYSIS OF THE HYGIENIC CONDITION OF CANTEEN FOOD SERVICES IN NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY.
Canteen services stated way back in the 18th century, food and snacks are served as to the taste of the client. It may be seen as a place in the military, factory, camp, school etc. where people may buy food, drinks, sweets etc to eat. As advancement has set in, more services are rendered aside the normal buying and selling of food in modern canteens. According to the Ministry of Health annual report, 75% of sicknesses admitted in hospital are results of unhealthy food (MOH 2007), majority of which are food serve in the canteen all over the country. It suggests that eating from canteens without basic health consideration is like signing your own death warrant. Health oen said is wealth, we should pay critical attention to the food we eatand the environmental condition under which we eat if only we want to create wealth. Nowadays, children are becoming far more overweight in suburban schools, and on a personally view the schools canteens are a definite place to blame. If you look at an average school canteen, there is no respect for the weight of the child or no help for providing the healthier option; it is all about making money to fund a business. Ways of making the canteen healthier will be discussed and the worst oenders to canteen obesity. Canteens are terrible; people line up with their money, walk in and buy whatever food they want. There is no mother in their ear saying to purchase a healthier option; there is just a child who wants to walk in and purchase the best tasting and in most cases fattiest options. As a personal view, to reduce problems like obesity people who have the power to should try and bring in healthier options, and encourage kids to eat them. There are endless possibilities to making canteens healthier, you can just ban unhealthy food, you can make it super expensive so know child can aord it or want to buy it, or you can just ban the canteen in general. Butunfortunately these options won’t work because as much as people want to get rid of the obesity in children you have to think of the people who work at the canteen, as it is their job. A more productive way of improving canteens is having both options to healthy and the bad but making the healthy items appeals
more to people. Or from a different approach you can have the unhealthy food but make it smaller in amounts, so you will be having less unhealthy foods, and then the students will be reduced to no choice but buy healthy food or accept there own home made meals, where the parents can control the healthiness of their children.
It is without doubt that many Ghanaians students one way or the other eat food from a canteen and food cooked in their home as well. In the tertiary institution as Ho polytechnic, canteen services serve food ranging from breakfast to supper to snacks, special meals are also served to customers.
Ghana like most developing countries; is struggling with the means to provide a comprehensive solutions to bad health as a result of bad eating conditions.
The current system of ensuring sanitation in the food served in the canteen, restaurant, chop bars, etc. has proven woefully inadequate for the objectives circumspect Places where better food in the Ghanaian context are served in a hygienic condition are very expensive to customers, hence majority of students, lecturers and non-lecturers in the universities, polytechnics and colleges are unable to aord. In this regard eating food cook by oneself has proven to be more beneficial in taste, cost, health, preferences, etc.
Consequently many students in the colleges, polytechnics and universities preferred preparing their own food. These have being easy due to the increasing supply of gas cylinders and burners. These gadgets are fast and convenient in the cooking and quite aordable.