Food Hygiene

Food safety education: what should we be teaching to consumers?

J Nutr Educ. 2001 Mar-Apr;33(2):108-13.

Food safety education: what should we be teaching to consumers?

Medeiros LCHillers VNKendall PAMason A.

Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1295, USA.


Food safety education is most effective when messages are targeted toward changing behaviors most likely to result in foodborne illness. The five major control factors for pathogens are personal hygiene, adequate cooking, avoiding cross-contamination, keeping food at safe temperatures, and avoiding foods from unsafe sources. Pathogens associated with poor personal hygiene have the highest incidence and costs. Inadequate cooking and cross-contamination have lower incidence. Keeping food at safe temperatures and unsafe food sources have the lowest incidence, although costs per case are sometimes very high. We recommend that consumer food safety educators primarily focus on hand washing, adequate cooking, and avoiding cross-contamination. Secondary messages should focus on keeping food at safe temperatures and avoiding food from an unsafe source. Evaluation tools are needed to evaluate self-reported behavior changes. The evaluation questions must focus on salient behaviors that are most likely to result in foodborne illnesses and must withstand rigorous standards of reliability and validity.

PMID: 12031191 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]



Written by geraldmoy

February 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm