A Qualitative Study on the Determination of Healthy Cafeteria Practice in Selangor, Malaysia

Nuraini Amirah Salhadi, Mohd Ramadan Ab Hamid, Noor Suzana Osman, Norazmir Md Nor

Abstract


The prevalence of obesity around the world is increasing yearly. Dietary intake, physical inactivity, and sedentary lifestyle are the common causes of obesity. This situation has created an urge to improve a healthy eating environment in the community. Eating outside is more common nowadays especially during working hours. Workers normally will have their meal at the cafeteria. Their dietary intake is directly affected by the availability of food choices at the cafeteria. Thus, a qualitative study was conducted to identify the perceptions of healthy cafeteria among food operators in Selangor, Malaysia. Eleven food handlers at three selected cafeterias were recruited by a convenience sampling based on the inclusion criteria of the study. The respondents consist of three full-time managers, five full-time food handlers, and three full-time cleaners. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the aid of video and audio recording. The phenomenon of interest was to explore the perceptions, suggestions, challenges and limitation of healthy cafeteria practice among cafeteria operators. The interview transcripts were analysed verbatim based on the objectives and identified themes of the study. Themes include food safety, food handling course, food availability, methods of cooking, foods’ hygiene and sanitation.  Findings showed that most of the respondents have the similar understanding of healthy cafeteria in which includes healthy menu and clean environment. The respondents also have the knowledge on food safety. The challenges faced by the food handlers were making sure every staff has the correct understanding of healthy foods, using the safe kitchen utensils and financial constraint. Regarding promoting healthy cafeteria environment, the respondents suggested to provide printed educational materials, serve healthy menu selections, organise healthy eating campaign and provide appropriates kitchen utensils. This study revealed that training on food safety and education on healthy food choices are important to provide a healthy eating environment.

Keywords: Obesity; Healthy Cafeteria, Food Safety; Healthy Eating.

ISSN: 2398-4287© 2017. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BYNC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21834/e-bpj.v2i5.691

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