Fit to work assessment as a food handler: A study of workers who work in food handling areas, Nakhon Ratchasima province


  • Khontorn Jankusol Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University
  • Pornthip Pimda Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital
  • Suntaree Jindamai Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital


Food handler, Fitness for work, Food safety, Food borne pathogen


This study was a descriptive retrospective study. The purposes were to describe prevalence of enteric pathogens in stool among food handlers and medical evaluation in food handlers (fitness for work assessment). The data were collected by reviewing the patient's medical records between October 2020 and April 2021 at the occupational medicine clinic in a tertiary hospital, Nakhon Ratchasima province. There were 160 food handlers in this study. Mean age was 38 year-old (IQR 25 - 48), and the majority were female (77%). There were 105 food handlers (65.7%) working in a food handling area of the hospital. The results showed that 26 food handlers (16.3%) were found medical conditions, 7 (4.4%) from symptom & physical examination, 18 (11.5%) from positive rectal swab culture (most of them were Salmonella spp.) and 1 (0.6%) from abnormal chest x-ray (pulmonary infiltration). There was no abnormal findings in stool examination and Hepatitis A virus IgM antibody. The results of fitness for work assessment, there were 145 fit to work (90.6%), 6 (3.8%) were restriction from work and 9 (5.6%) were exclusion from work. Conclusion, rectal swab culture may have benefit for screening foodborne pathogen in infected food handlers. Medical conditions in food handlers should be managed appropriately by determining risk factors of transmission and severity of disease such as type of organisms, symptoms, hygiene, type of work and consumer group.   


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How to Cite

Jankusol, K., Pimda, P., & Jindamai, S. (2022). Fit to work assessment as a food handler: A study of workers who work in food handling areas, Nakhon Ratchasima province. The Office of Disease Prevention and Control 9th Nakhon Ratchasima Journal, 28(2), 43–52. Retrieved from



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