DSC8837 300x226The potential threat to patrons’ health at restaurants in an Eastern Cape municipality has prompted a WSU researcher to investigate the levels of hygienic standards in food service systems in the hospitality industry.

In her bid to obtain a doctoral degree in Business Administration from UFH, WSU tourism, hospitality and sports management department senior lecturer Dr Vikelwa Nomnga has interrogated safety measures within the food and hospitality industry under the title: “Implementation of Food Service Management Policy in selected restaurants in Amathole District Municipality’.

“The study was inspired by the poor handling of food in many restaurants under Amathole District which could trigger dietary deficiencies that compromise the health of citizens,” said Dr Nomnga.

She said the study was most necessary as it establishes, through scientific and evidence-based investigation, the inefficiency in many restaurants in the region in implementing government’s National Food Policy of 2004.

Dr Nomnga said this sobering reality should in turn galvanize the food industry to improve on its food handling systems.

“The research has also enlightened the Department of Health on the need to enforce compliance of food policy in restaurants to ensure that public health is maintained in the process, avoiding the outbreak of diseases,” she said.

She said the standards of food handling should be especially adhered to during the current Covid 19 pandemic, owing to the massive potential for food contamination and possible viral infection as a result of poor food handling.

Dr Nomnga said her investigation into food safety management has opened her eyes to a wealth of knowledge and subsequent possibilities to uncovering novel ideas and solutions to improving food handling within the hospitality industry.

“From my research, I noted that knowledge production in this grey is still largely untapped. Therefore, I plan to do further research in this area, become a specialist, increase my intellectual capacity, and add merit to my academic development,” she said.

Dr Nomnga’s generation of knowledge in her research has seen her submit numerous papers to various reputable journals, a feat which has emboldened her to pursue her aspirations to become a fully-fledged academic that not only continues to expand on her knowledge production, but supervises young scholars as well.