KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, PRACTICE OF NIGHT MARKET FOOD HANDLERS REGARDING THE USE OF REPEATEDLY HEATED COOKING OIL IN KUANTAN, PAHANG
Introduction: The practice of repeatedly heating cooking oil (RHCO) in food preparation has been a common practice among Malaysian mainly among the commercial sector such as night market food handlers. It had been suggested that high consumption of reused oil could impaired human health due to the chemical changes that eventually result in high lipid peroxidation products. Therefore, this study was conducted to study the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of night market food handlers regarding the use of RHCO. Methods: The study involved convenience sampling of 77 night market food handlers from 10 different locations in Kuantan within a two-week period. A set of questionnaires was designed to collect the data from the respondents by face-to-face interview session. Results: The mean knowledge score of the respondents was moderate (4.08 out of 7 points) with majority of the respondents (68.8%) agreed that it is a bad practice. Despite that, 89.6% of them admitted that they had used cooking oil repeatedly. Furthermore, respondents with lower level of education had significantly higher knowledge regarding this issue (p = 0.039). However, no other correlation was found between practice of RHCO with other variables such as level of education, total knowledge score and monthly sale of the food handlers. Conclusions: Most of the food handlers having a moderate level of knowledge and bad attitude and practice towards the use of RHCO. A more aggressive actions need to be taken by the respective authorities to address this unhealthy practice, and to spread awareness and ensure safe consumption of fried food among consumers which might improve the health status of Malaysians.
KEYWORDS: Repeatedly, Cooking Oil, Food, night market, knowledge, attitude, practice