Food Hygiene

Improving street food vending in South Africa: achievements and lessons learned

Int J Food Microbiol. 2006 Sep 1;111(2):89-92. Epub 2006 Jul 20.

Improving street food vending in South Africa: achievements and lessons learned.

von Holy AMakhoane FM.

School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa. <>


Until the late 1990s there were limited scientific data on the microbiological quality and safety of street-vended foods in South Africa, while information was already available in other developing countries, including those within the African region. At that time street-vended foods were perceived as unsafe and street food vending in South Africa was regarded as a practice, which should be outlawed. The first comprehensively documented scientific research into the safety of street-vended foods in South Africa was carried out through university-based research. This research found that street food vendors in South Africa were capable of producing relatively safe foods, with low bacterial counts, although there was still a need for proper hygiene conditions and access to basic sanitary facilities. The Department of Health of South Africa, when coordinating an FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project on Improving Street Foods in South Africa, drew similar conclusions. This article provides information of the efforts by universities and health authorities in South Africa towards improving the safety and promoting the sale of street-vended foods. It is shown that a successful transition from street food vending being perceived as a nuisance by health authorities can be made to these authorities promoting and improving street food vending instead.

PMID: 16857283 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]



Written by geraldmoy

February 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm