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: Understanding consumers' food safety practices is helpful in reducing food-borne illness. A systematic literature search was conducted to establish a baseline of consumer food safety practices in Canada, identify research gaps and make recommendations for future research. To date, this is the first study examining Canadian populations which gathers survey results measuring consumer food safety practices from both peer-reviewed, published literature and non-peer-reviewed public opinion research reports. The search found 26 Canadian publications from 1998 to 2011. Questions covered frequency of food preparation, sources of food safety information, consumer confidence and assigned food safety responsibility, awareness of food safety, knowledge of high-risk groups and high-risk foods, and personal experience with food-borne illness. Food safety behaviours were evaluated according to the ‘clean’, ‘separate’, ‘chill’ and ‘cook’ principles emphasized by the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's FightBAC® Program. Overall, results differed considerably between studies due to variations in study designs, populations, survey questions and definitions of correct behaviour. However, the analysis provided a general indication of areas requiring targeted consumer food safety education such as increasing thermometer use when cooking meats, raising awareness of high-risk populations and knowledge of high-risk foods, and expanding messaging to the internet and social media. Consumer food safety studies in Canada were limited to self-reported behaviours. Future research could include observational studies to validate results from self-reported food safety practices, and provide more accurate information on consumer food handling practices. Finally, establishing a set of standard food safety questions that can be compared between future surveys would contribute to a comprehensive baseline against which future food safety interventions could be measured.Food Control 04/2014; 38:157–173. · 2.74 Impact Factor
- Food Protection Trends. 11/2013; 33(6):358-375.