: Foodborne diseases (FBD), such as intestinal parasitosis, remain a major public health issue across the
globe, especially in developing countries. The entire hospital community is at risk of acquiring these diseases from food handlers
(FHs) in hospitals. Hospitalized patients are particularly at risk primarily due to compromised immunity.
This study determined the carriage rate of intestinal parasites and assessed the socio-demographic factors associated with
carriage among FHs in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria.
: A cross-sectional study that involved screening of all FHs in the hospital for intestinal parasites was conducted
from May 2018 to June 2018. Finger swabs and fresh stool specimens of the FHs were collected and examined for intestinal
parasites following standard microbiological techniques. The socio-demographic characteristics of the FHs were also obtained
using structured questionnaires specifically designed for the study.
: Of the 81 FHs studied, 9 (11.1%) were positive for different types of intestinal parasites. Entamoeba histolytica
(33.3%) and hookworms (33.3%) were the most common intestinal parasites, followed by Taenia spp.
(22.2%) and Ascaris lumbricoides
(11.2%). All intestinal parasites were detected in stool specimens with none recovered from the finger swabs.
The educational level of the FHs was significantly associated with intestinal parasitosis (p=0.047).
FHs in this study are carriers of intestinal parasites and their level of education is significantly associated with
intestinal parasitosis. Periodic screening and eradication therapy for infested FHs are recommended to avoid outbreaks of
FBD in hospitals.