International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research
Abbreviation: IJIAAR | ISSN (Online): 2602-4772 | DOI: 10.29329/ijiaar

Original article    |    Open Access
International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research 2021, Vol. 5(1) 52-69

COVID-19: Impact of Service and Food Quality on Student Satisfaction and Food Wastage in a Tunisian Canteen

Hanen Ben Ismaıl, Marouane Rezgui, Sarra Jrıbı, Derine Dogui & Hajer Debbabi

pp. 52 - 69   |  DOI:

Published online: March 31, 2021  |   Number of Views: 258  |  Number of Download: 506


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to far-reaching health, social, and economic consequences. In order to secure the safety of students and staff, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has established general guidelines for University campuses including canteens, based on prevention and protective measures. Food wastage is a major global issue impairing food security. The objective of the present study was to evaluate these COVID-19 measures on food wastage in a Tunisian University canteen. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the university canteen has changed their practices by setting up a meal bag service for lunch and dinner. Face to face interviews based on a structured questionnaire, were conducted during one month on 154 on 143 student respondents (mean age 23 years old, 76% women) in June 2020, after COVID-19 lockdown lifting. Interestingly the COVID-19 crisis has positively impacted the students’ awareness about food wastage since 28% of respondents declared not throwing away food and 55% claimed to have reduced their food waste levels. Most of respondents (72.4%) have highly appreciated the new concept based on take-away. About 63.1% declared eating at least every other day at the canteen, and 67.8% going more often. Interestingly 93.1% claimed to have noticed improvements in the quality of food items. These changes were related to better food presentation (72% of respondents), better food safety (64%), better overall sensory quality (36%), whereas only 1% claimed not having observed any changes. Food quality service has been evaluated as very good by 45% of respondents, and quality of prepared foods as good by 43%. However, although the COVID-19 measures allowed a reduction by 21% of self reported food wastage in the canteen, most of respondents (71.3%) affirmed not finishing their plates. The most discarded dishes were soups (62% of respondents), stews (52%), vegetables (48%) and salad (45%) whereas dairy products (65.4% of respondents), fruits (64.4%), rice (51.9%), Tunisian dish tajin (51.9%) and chicken (50%) were not wasted. In conclusion, our study has shown that providing good take-out meals has potential for reducing food wastage among students, strengthening the importance of food safety and convenience as effective tools for food waste prevention.

Keywords: Students, COVID-19, Food Service, Quality Of Food Products, Food waste

How to Cite this Article

APA 6th edition
Ismail, H.B., Rezgui, M., Jribi, S., Dogui, D. & Debbabi, H. (2021). COVID-19: Impact of Service and Food Quality on Student Satisfaction and Food Wastage in a Tunisian Canteen . International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research, 5(1), 52-69. doi: 10.29329/ijiaar.2021.339.4

Ismail, H., Rezgui, M., Jribi, S., Dogui, D. and Debbabi, H. (2021). COVID-19: Impact of Service and Food Quality on Student Satisfaction and Food Wastage in a Tunisian Canteen . International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research, 5(1), pp. 52-69.

Chicago 16th edition
Ismail, Hanen Ben, Marouane Rezgui, Sarra Jribi, Derine Dogui and Hajer Debbabi (2021). "COVID-19: Impact of Service and Food Quality on Student Satisfaction and Food Wastage in a Tunisian Canteen ". International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research 5 (1):52-69. doi:10.29329/ijiaar.2021.339.4.

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