This study examined the role of food and water contamination in a health impact evaluation of a water and sanitation intervention project. Although lower diarrhoea rates were found in the improved area no consistent difference in food and water contamination was observed between areas. Furthermore, no relationship was found between contamination and diarrhoea in either area, even after controlling for the nutritional status of children. These results imply that other vehicles of transmission might be more important than food and water in diarrhoeal transmission. The focus of interventions should therefore be on changing behaviours to improve overall hygiene.