PERCEPTIONS ON THE EXTENT OF Cocos nucifera TODDY COLLECTORS’ FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES: A BASIS FOR INTEGRATION OF FOOD SAFETY IN THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM
This study intended to determine the extent of food safety practices as perceived by the Cocos nucifera toddy collectors where one hundred forty (140) coconut toddy collectors from the different areas of Guihulngan City serve as respondents. The study is descriptive and correlational in nature and based from the results of the respondents – toddy collectors’ responses. The set of questionnaires is based on the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of the Philippine National Standards. Frequency Distribution, Percentage, Weighted Mean, t-test, and Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient are the statistical tools. The findings reveal that the respondents’ average age is 53 years old, and of low literacy. The least experienced of whom have worked in 1-5 years, the rest 17-24 years. The average household size is about 5.5 and most depend on toddy collection for their livelihood. Two groups of respondents are examined as to their hygienic practices perceptions and their actual practices. As the number of work experience increases, the use of the more modern and hygienic metal screw cap was used as lid for toddy containers, the rest used guava (Psidium guajava) leaves. Both groups do not essentially differ in their perception on safety practices except the one cited on container lids. Neither does their profile, except that the more experienced used the more hygienic metal screw cap, as cited earlier. In summary, according to the respondents’ perceptions, their hygienic practice, in all facets of their toddy collection, is quite high. But if we take into account, their hygienic practices have still a lot to be improved.