Background: A bulk of food borne disease outbreaks are attributable to poor hygienic practices and improper handling of food.
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of structured teaching programme on hand hygiene among food handlers.
Materials and methods: An evaluative approach with pre-experimental (one group pre-test post-test) design was adopted for the study. A structured knowledge questionnaire and observation checklist was developed to assess the knowledge and practice of food handlers. Convenient sampling technique was used to select 40 food handlers from selected canteens in Mangalore.
Results: The study showed that the structured teaching programme was effective in improving the hand hygiene among food handlers and there is significant difference between pre-test and post-test I and II knowledge scores (t=32.6 and 28.7, p<0.05) and there is significant difference between pre-test and post-test I and II practice scores (t=9.6 and 11.1, p<0.05). The pre-test knowledge and practice scores were independent of all the demographic variables such as age, gender, religion, educational status, type of work and total years of experience.
Conclusion: The finding of the study concluded that the structured teaching programme was effective to improve hand hygiene among food handlers which in turn help to reduce foodborne diseases. The researcher suggested to exhibit posters and pamphlets on hand hygiene in the hand washing area as constant reminders to improve hand hygiene.