Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
MINNAERT, Ana Cláudia de Sá Teles and FREITAS, Maria do Carmo Soares. Hygiene practices in a street market in the city of Salvador, Bahia State. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, suppl.1, pp.1607-1614. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232010000700072.
The main objective of this research is to understand the meaning of the practices concerning food hygiene in a street market in Salvador, the capital of Bahia State in Brazil. The ethnographic study presents two main categories for symbolic production related to hygiene practices: cleanliness as order and dirtiness as disorder. These cultural codes make correspondence with the studies of Mary Douglas and Nobert Elias. The codes present particularities to decode everyday life, in which concept and hygiene practices are aspects normalized, in daily activity, for persons who share the space of street market: vendors, consumers, street cleaners and official inspectors. The techno-scientific knowledge and sanitary legislation are strange to the symbolic system of street market vendors. The laws are ineffective and their influence is of little importance in the creation of hygiene practices. Official inspectors' attitudes are coercive and punitive and do not take into account any cultural values when enforcing new hygiene practices.
Keywords : Hygiene; Hygiene practices; Inspection; Street market; Sanitary surveillance.