Fort Portal City: Street food vendors empowered to keep food safety standards

FORT PORTAL, February 29, 2024 – In a bid to ensure the serving of safe and nutritious food to their clients, Kabarole Research and Resource Center Uganda [KRC] has trained street food vendors in Fort Portal City to maintain high standards and hygiene.

KRC is a non-governmental organisation that strengthens community-centered development processes to enable grassroots-oriented stakeholders to generate relevant ideas and skills for development.

Street food vending is one of the booming businesses in Fort Portal City with an estimated 500 people in the business, however, some are not aware of the food safety standards required of them.

Eric Oteba a Food Systems and Nutrition Programmes manager at KRC said demand for street food keeps increasing due to rural-urban migration, especially by young people looking for jobs and good services like education.

“The growing need for fast foods is growing and we want to take this advantage and empower street vendors so that they can be able to provide health food that is safe from any contamination,” Oteba said.

Oteba said street food vendors in Fort Portal City need to prepare organic food, which he said can attract more people to visit the town also called Fort Portal Tourism City.

“We want vendors to be nutrition ambassadors, promote indigenous, nutritious and diverse foods to the population. We are doing all this to ensure that proper hygiene and nutrition are guaranteed during food preparation and handling because food borne diseases are emerging as a silent killer,” he said.

He revealed that one out of 10 people fall ill because of food contamination and 33 million people die annually because of foodborne diseases.

The vendors were urged to always separate raw and cooked food to avoid contamination, use safe and clean water without forgetting to wash their hands during food preparation, serving customers.

In June 2019, the World Food Safety Day was marked under theme: “Food Safety, everyone’s business” which was a call to action for everyone to be involved in promoting food safety to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.

As such, Caroline Uwera, a nutritionist at KRC emphasised safe food storage and waste disposable, noting that food can easily be contaminated if it’s not kept safely.

She added: You need to be mindful of how you dispose off food wastes without contaminating what you have prepared to serve people.”

Uwera said it has been observed  there are too much chemicals in fresh foods sold in Fort Portal City, which she said pose a health risk to the population.

“Fresh food being sold in markets have been found to have too much chemicals on them especially tomatoes and this is causing a health risk to consumers,” she warned.

She said KRC intends to establish a point where people in Fort Portal City can get organic foods. Some people may wish to buy organic foods but cannot access them and this is the very reason we are looking for a strategic point where everyone can have access to these organic foods,” said Uwera.

According to James Mugabe to Fort Portal City Agricultural Officer, farmers in the area are misusing pesticides because they are not following precautionary guidelines.

“Farmers are found of harvesting their crops after spraying and yet they are supposed to harvest two weeks after spraying. Others spray after harvesting claiming that this increases durability of the harvested crops,” Mugabe said.

He further revealed that too much chemicals on food has contributed much to the increase of cancer diseases.

Food safety is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] that include ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, promoting good health and wellbeing, while ensuring sustainable consumption and production.

Some of the notable general food safety standards developed by the Uganda Bureau of Standards [UNBS] include:

  • US 45: 2019 – General standard for food additives specifies guidelines for the use of food additives and lists safety levels suitable for use in specific food products or food product categories.
  • US 28:2002 – Code of practice for hygiene in the food and drink manufacturing industry specifies minimum requirements for factories and employees engaged in the manufacture, processing, packaging, and delivery of foods for human consumption.
  • US CAC/RCP 39:1993 – Code of hygienic practice for precooked and cooked foods in mass catering deals with the hygienic requirements for cooking raw foods and handling cooked and precooked foods intended for feeding large groups of people.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on

Related Articles

Back to top button