Annually, 600 million individuals are affected by food-borne diseases (FBD), alongside 425,000 fatalities. Improving the general public knowledge of, attitudes towards, and practices in, (KAP) food safety is necessary for minimizing FBD transmission. In Malaysia, migrant workers account for 11.1% of the workforce, with a high proportion involved in food and beverage services. Therefore, this study aimed (i) to evaluate the current food safety KAP, and (ii) to identify the strategies to promote food safety awareness, among migrant workers across occupational sectors in Klang Valley.
A survey was conducted with 403 migrant workers through phone interviews and online self-administered questionnaires. Piecewise structural equation modelling and multinomial regression were applied to identify predictor variables for food safety KAP and to explore differences across nationalities.
The respondents were Nepalese, Filipino and Indonesian. The majority were male, working in the services industry, had completed high school, aged between 30 and 39 years and had worked in Malaysia for less than ten years. Knowledge was significantly correlated with attitudes and practices. Female respondents had lower knowledge and attitude scores while younger respondents had lower knowledge scores. Indonesian and Filipino respondents had lower knowledge and attitudes scores than Nepalese respondents. Understanding food safety information from social media was positively correlated with the respondents’ food safety knowledge and practices.
These findings highlighted: (i) the need to target female, younger, Indonesian and Filipino migrant workers, and (ii) the potential of social media to improve public awareness of food safety and hygienic practices.