Research – An Evaluation of the Hygiene Practices of European Street Food Vendors and a Preliminary Estimation of Food Safety for Consumers, Conducted in Paris

Journal of Food Protection

The aim of this study was to evaluate hygiene conditions and practices in selected street food facilities in Paris, France. One hundred twenty mobile food establishments were studied: kiosks, 66 (55%); stands, 32 (26.7%); and food trucks, 22 (18.3%). Inspection of street food vendors and short interviews with staff using a specially designed checklist revealed that none of them were entirely hygienic. The hygiene conditions of the facilities themselves were the most satisfactory (77% of them were up to standard), but hygiene was less so for production and distribution processes (65% were satisfactory) and personal hygiene (67% were satisfactory). A significant (P ≤ 0.05) correlation between the general hygiene status and the hygiene conditions of the production and distribution processes (r = 0.86) and the hygiene practices of workers (r = 0.86) was found. The instances of noncompliance that were found may affect the safety of street-vended food. Because of its increasing popularity, it is important to correct poor hygiene practices. It is very important to identify common instances of noncompliance for street food facilities and to develop real remedial actions. Procedures to control the hygiene of street food vendors should also be developed. The checklist, which was specially designed to evaluate street vendor outlets, could also be used to pre-assess the hygiene conditions of production by those responsible for food hygiene. Furthermore, it could serve as a checklist for self-assessment (internal audit) by the vendors themselves and be adopted as a consumer education tool, to increase awareness of food hygiene of a catering facility.

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