• 1 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):214-222.


Influx of foreign students in Malaysia calls for a study on safety of food in Malaysia restaurants as perceived by them. This study aims to investigate perception of foreign students regarding food safety and personal hygiene practice of food handlers in Malaysia restaurants. A six sections Likert scale questionnaire was used. A total of 350 questionnaires were distributed during this study between March 2011 and March 2012 to the international students from 26 countries of the world in various public and private institutions of higher learning in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Among the distributed questionnaires, only 155 were correctly filled, retrieved and analyzed. Ninety-one respondents (59%) were male while 63 (41%) were females. A total of 107 (69%) were undergraduates and 29 (19%) were postgraduate students. One hundred and thirty-nine (90%) respondents were local or foreign restaurants. Eleven respondents (7%) did not patronize any of the restaurants. Among factors influencing choice of restaurants are closeness to residence, price of food and quality of food were the most important factors 62 (38%). Twenty-seven (28%) eat in restaurants because of the similarity of the food to that of their home country. Of the most preferred food, Nasi ayam, 89 (57%) top the list, next was Nasi goreng ayam, 14 (14%) and African food, 23 (15%). Nasi lemak was the least food preferred 3 (2%). A total of 104 (67%) respondents were of the opinion that handlers kept short nails, 91 (59%) do not pick nose, 108 (55%) stated that food handlers cough or sneeze while handling food. Ninety-eight respondents (64%) also stated that serving of food with unprotected hands were observed. The result of this study showed that although food handlers are aware of the need for personal hygiene, more awareness needs to be created.