In addition to being a travel blogger, my profession is in food microbiology where I have specialist expertise in food safety and quality. My start-up research institute, the Australian Food Microbiology Institute (foodmicrobiology.tk), in partnership with Dr Yakindra Timilsena from the Centre for Food and Nutrition in Melbourne, is pushing forward with a bold new project.  We’re addressing aspects of food safety in Nepal along with the related public health issues of water quality, sanitation and hygiene … and we desperately need research funds to reduce the impact of foodborne disease on the people and economy of Nepal.

For our initial project, we will focus on highway restaurants which are widespread in the rural areas of Nepal.  They are a part of local life in rural Nepal and are frequented often, by road travellers, and are in fact the most common means of eating during private road trips.  Unfortunately, many aspects of food, water and personal hygiene and sanitation appear lacking in these establishments, which may contribute to episodes of foodborne disease for diners.  Not only is water quality a potential issue, but toilet facilities can be questionable with regard to location and hygiene facilities, as can knowledge and compliance of food service workers with regard to food safety behaviours, including hand washing and temperature control. Thus, we aim to tackle the many areas where food safety is sub-standard, firstly by identifying the factors contributing to foodborne disease in these establishments, before we choose a course of action to result in a reduction of foodborne disease.

Project aim: Identification of factors increasing the likelihood of foodborne pathogen transmission in the highway restaurant environment in Nepal.

Thanks for making a difference and contributing to saving lives in Nepal 🙏.

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