CoE Articles

Consumers, CoE-FS PhD candidate seeks your input

Published July 3, 2023, by Supplied

Thabang Nora Msimango, a PhD candidate based at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, and a grantee of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS), is requesting the input of consumers, as part of her PhD research.

The link to the questionnaire is available here, and information about Msimango’s research is detailed below.

Project title: “Qualitative and quantitative microbiological risk assessment of dark leafy green vegetables commonly consumed in South Africa”

The consumption of leafy green vegetables is highly encouraged as they possess nutrients and vitamins essential in maintaining a healthy body. However, leafy green vegetables are susceptible to contamination by foodborne pathogens. Consuming vegetables contaminated with foodborne pathogens may result in the development of foodborne disease, often requiring hospitalisation and further treatment. Furthermore, foodborne diseases may result in long-term health effects such as irritable bowel syndrome and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Deaths because of foodborne diseases have also been recorded. Thus, it is important to implement measures that will prevent contamination of fresh produce, thereby also preventing diseases, long-term health effects, and deaths.

The first step in doing this requires us to assess the leafy green fresh produce or vegetable value chain, from farm to fork. Following this, we will be able to assess the risk posed to the consumer by the consumption of leafy green vegetables in South Africa.

You as the consumer will be a participant in our research and are requested to answer a set of questions. The information you provide to us is valuable and we believe that it will assist us in successfully completing this research project.

The questionnaire will be used to gather data on the consumption patterns of leafy green vegetables as well as the handling and storage thereof in households. All replies to the questionnaire are anonymous. Once this data is obtained it will be handled by the PhD candidate for research purposes only. Other members of the Food Safety Research Group in the CoE-FS may also access the data for research purposes only. The data may be included in the PhD dissertation, research presentations and resulting publications.

Please take note of the following important things:

  • This proposal has been reviewed and approved by the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences ethics committee (NAS176/2022).
  • Participation in this research project is entirely voluntary.
  • There is no reimbursement associated with this research.
  • Privacy and confidentiality will always be ensured by the researchers. The information you provide us with will be kept safe and will not affect you in any way.

Contact details:
Thabang Msimango

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