Consumer Perspectives on Street Food Safety: A Qualitative Study in Elmina, Ghana


  • Alexander Fiifi Ghartey
  • Kwabena Barima Antwi


Street food, Consumers, Foodborne diseases, risk factors, Regulation, Enforcement, Elmina


Foodborne diseases are a major public health concern. This study therefore sought to assess and fill the knowledge gap in consumer perspectives on street food safety, preference factors and how they perceive food regulation enforcement in the study area of Elmina, a world heritage site town and a major tourist destination in Ghana. A qualitative design using focus group discussion of consumers and in-depth interview of regulators was applied. It was found that consumers have varied understanding of factors that influence food safety. Whereas some consumers placed premium on personal and environmental hygiene, others depended mainly on socio-economic factors. Consumers also held the view that regulation enforcement in the study area had a big deficit. This was confirmed by regulators themselves. Strategies necessary for effective enforcement practices require
inter-agency collaboration. Household toilet policy must be vigorously pursued. Ultimately consumers have personal responsibility not to patronize unwholesome and unhygienic food.


Abrahale, K., Sousa, S., Albuquerque, G., Padrão, P., & Lunet, N. (2019). Street food research worldwide: a scoping review. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics, 32(2), 152-174.

Alimi, B.A. (2016). Risk factors in street food practices in developing countries: A review. Food science and human wellness. 5(3), 141-148.

Annan-Prah, A., Amewowor, D. H. A. K., Osei-Kofi, J., Amoono, S. E., Akorli, S. Y., Saka, E., & Ndadi, H. A. (2011). Street foods: handling, hygiene and client expectations in a world heritage site town, Cape Coast, Ghana. African journal of microbiology research, 5(13), 1629-1634. [Retrieved online on 6th June 2014 from http://www.academicj].

Asiegbu, C. V., Lebelo, S. L., & Tabit, F. T. (2016). The food safety knowledge and microbial hazards awareness of consumers of ready-to-eat street-vended food. Food control, 60, 422-429.

Bektas, Z. K., Miran, B., Uysal O. K. & Gunden, C. (2011). Consumer awareness for food safety in Turkey. Bulgarian journal of agricultural science, 17(4), 470-483.

Bowling, A. (2014). Research Methods in Health. Investigate health and health services. 4thed. Birkshire: Open university press.

FAO (2016). Street food vending in Accra, Ghana. Field survey report 2016. FAO: Accra.

FAO/WHO (2010). Assuring food safety and quality: Guidelines for strengthening national food control systems Joint FAO/WHO publication.

GSS (2014). 2010 Population & Housing Census. District analytical report summary report komenda, Edina Eguafo Abrem municipal. GSS: Accra.

Haleegoah, J., Ruivenkamp, G., Essegbey, G., Frempong, G., & Jongerden, J. (2015). Street- Vended local food systems actors perceptions on safety in urban Ghana: The case of hausa koko, waakye and Ga kenkey. Advances in applied sociology, 5, 134-145.

Hiamey, S. E., Amuquandoh, F. E., & Boison, G. A. (2015). Are we indeed what we eat? Street food consumption 73 in the Market Circle area of Takoradi, Ghana. Nutrition and Health. 22(3-4) 215-235.

Hiamey S.E. & Hiamey GA (2018). Street food consumption in a Ghanaian metropolis: The concerns determining consumption and non-consumption. Food control, 92, 121-127

Khairuzzaman, M.D, Chowdhury, F.M., Zaman, S., Al Mamun, A., & Latiful Bari, L. (2014). Food Safety Challenges towards Safe, Healthy, and Nutritious Street Foods in Bangladesh International Journal of Food Science, 9, [Retrieved online on 17th May 2016 from

Medeiros, C.O. & Salay, E. (2013). A Review of Food Service Selection factors important to the consumer, food and public health, 3(4), 176-190.

Meng, T., Wojciech J.F., Sarpong, D.B., Chinnan, M. S. & Resurreccion, A.V.A. (2014). Consumer’s Food shopping choice in Ghana: Supermarket or traditional outlets? International food and agribusiness management review, 17, 107-129.

Mensah, J.O., Aidoo, R. & Teye, A.N (2013). Analysis of street food consumption across various Income Groups in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(4), 951-961.

MoH/GHS, (2014). Annual reports of KEEA Health Directorate, Elmina.

Patel, K., Guenther, D., Wiebe, K. & Seburn, R. (2013). Marginalized street food vendors promoting consumption of millets among the urban poor: A case study of millet porridge vendors in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India food sovereignty. A critical dialogue conference paper #82 International conference Yale University. September 14-15, 2013.

Republic of Ghana (2012). Public Health Act, Act 851

Republic of Ghana Local Government Act (1993). Act 462.

Republic of Ghana (2008). KEEA Municipal Assembly (Control of Hawkers) Byelaws, 2003, Local Government Bulletin 2008.

Republic of Ghana (2008). KEEA Municipal Assembly (Control of Dried Foodstuffs) Bye-laws, 2003) Local Government Bulletin 2008.

Republic of Ghana (2008). KEEA Municipal Assembly (Public Markets) Bye-laws, 2003) Local Government Bulletin 2008.

Republic of Ghana (2008). KEEA Municipal Assembly (Control of Dried Foodstuffs) Bye-laws, 2003) Local Government Bulletin 2008.

Rheinlander, T, Olsen, M.,Bakang, J.A., Takyi, H., Konradsen, F. & Samuelsen, H. (2008). Keeping up appearances: Perceptions of street food safety in Urban Kumasi, Ghana. Published in Journal of Urban Health.2008 Nov., 952–964.

Samapundo, S., Climat, R., Xhaferi, R., & Devlieghere, F. (2015). Food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices of street food vendors and consumers in Portau-Prince, Haiti. Food control, 50, 457-466.

Tortoe, C., Johnson, P.N.T., Ottah-Atikpo, M. & Tomlins, K. I.(2012). Systematic Approach for the Management and control of food safety for the Street/Informal food sector in Ghana. Food and public health, 3 (1) 59-67.

WHO (2012). Five keys to safer food manual 2006. Retrieved from http://www.who.


WHO (2015). WHO’s First Ever Global Estimates of Foodborne Diseases. Geneva:WHO.

Yeleliere, E., Cobbina, S. J., & Abubakari, Z. I. (2017). Review of microbial food contamination and food hygiene in selected capital cities of Ghana. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 3(1). 1-13.




How to Cite

Ghartey, A. F. ., & Antwi, K. B. . (2021). Consumer Perspectives on Street Food Safety: A Qualitative Study in Elmina, Ghana. Central Inquiry, 4(1), 45–62. Retrieved from



Full length articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)