Food safety knowledge and practices of consumers in the U.S.A.
ABSTRACT Use of safe food handling practices in the home could reduce the number of foodborne illnesses. The objective of this project was to obtain baseline data on the safe food handling knowledge and practices of consumers to aid in the development of effective educational programmes. A food handling questionnaire was developed and completed by 426 Nebraskan respondents. Knowledge and practice questions were based on the most important contributory factors in reported foodborne illness outbreaks. Knowledge scores (correct responses) ranged from 2 to 29 with a mean of 20 ± 4. When compared with the knowledge score, the respondents' education level, where they lived and their sex were statistically significant. Almost all (96%) of the respondents stated that they practised safe food handling when persons were infected. Approximately half of the respondents indicated that they practised safe food handling when handling contaminated raw foods and using foods from unsafe sources. About 45% of the respondents inappropriately left foods at room temperature. One-third of the survey respondents improperly held hot foods. Cross-contamination was a concept understood by 75% of the respondents. Results indicate that food safety education should be targeted on specific groups who are less knowledgeable about safe food handling practices. Results also indicate that a number of respondents knew proper food handling concepts but did not put those concepts into practice. Therefore, increasing the adoption of safe food handling practices by consumers should become an important aspect for educators in food safety educational programmes.
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ABSTRACT: Food preparers in families with young children are responsible for safe food preparation and handling to prevent foodborne illness. To explore the food safety perceptions, beliefs, and practices of primary food preparers in families with children 10 years of age and younger, a mixed methods convergent parallel design and constructs of the Health Belief Model were used. A random sampling of 72 primary food handlers (36.2 ± 8.6 years of age, 88% female) within young families in urban and rural areas of two Midwestern states completed a knowledge survey and participated in ten focus groups. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS. Transcribed interviews were analyzed for codes and common themes. Forty four percent scored less than the average knowledge score of 73%. Participants believe children are susceptible to foodborne illness but perceive its severity to be low with gastrointestinal discomfort as the primary outcome. Using safe food handling practices and avoiding inconveniences were benefits of preventing foodborne illness. Childcare duties, time and knowledge were barriers to practicing food safety. Confidence in preventing foodborne illness was high, especially when personal control over food handling is present. The low knowledge scores and reported practices revealed a false sense of confidence despite parental concern to protect their child from harm. Food safety messages that emphasize the susceptibility and severity of foodborne illness in children are needed to reach this audience for adoption of safe food handling practices.Appetite 11/2013; · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Effective food safety interventions implemented in schools should be an important way to reach children and to improve their knowledge and habits in the context of food handling and personal hygiene. However, few intervention programs of this kind have been implemented with young children, as the preferred groups are secondary school children, young adults and adults. Even though introducing children to new hygiene habits and offering them simplified knowledge based on experience might be effective, health intervention programs and evaluation methods must be adapted to the peculiarity of childhood learning abilities. This study provides an example of a health promotion campaign addressed at primary school students, with the aim of improving children’s knowledge, correcting habits in the context of food safety, and enhancing the children’s understanding of microorganisms and their functions. Children attending a program based on (1) mostly theoretical knowledge or (2) mostly practical information (with the scientific method of “learn by playing”) were evaluated before and after the intervention using drawings and semi structured interviews to test the intervention effectiveness. Data extracted from an analysis of 492 drawings and of 141 interviews showed that practical classes are more effective than theory classes. Data also show that children’s drawings could be used to simplify and consolidate the deep learning of scientific topics, and also to evaluate the successfulness of health promotion campaigns targeting young children. This should contribute to the amelioration of children’s awareness of hygiene and food contamination-related risks, leading to significant benefits for primary prevention of foodborne illness.Food Control 03/2013; 33(2):320-329. · 2.74 Impact Factor
- Food Protection Trends. 11/2013; 33(6):358-375.