Chakula salama: A risk-based approach to reducing foodborne disease and increasing production of safe foods in Kenya
Poultry is an important dietary component for poor and middle-class Kenyan households and a key source of revenue for women and youth. Since poultry is often produced and processed in informal settings which rarely include pathogen mitigation strategies, transmission of pathogenic Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter spp. is a risk. Building an enabling environment for food safety within this sector will improve food security and nutrition for individuals, households, and communities.
This project, led by Barbara Kowalcyk of The Ohio State University, uses a systems-based, risk-informed approach to ask and answer important food safety questions in partnership with small-scale women and youth poultry producers in peri-urban Kiambu County, Kenya. Capacity for food safety is being built through collaborations with stakeholders to identify food safety priorities, characterizing bacterial pathogen contamination at critical control points within the value chains, and developing and evaluating interventions to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases in poultry. In addition, a gender analysis of food safety responsibilities and risks along the poultry value chain will inform research efforts and the creation of culturally appropriate interventions to increase food safety.
The project is effecting systemic change in food safety in Kenya by building a pipeline of food microbiology expertise through educational workshops and trainings in best practices. The risk-based roadmap being developed for decision making and allocating food safety resources can be extended to other value chains and pathogens, enabling Kenya to implement this approach across other sectors of the food industry.