According to a recent Kansas State University study, restaurant workers blame time constraints, inconvenience, inadequate training and inadequate resources for failure to follow food safety practices.
K-State researchers conducted focus groups with restaurant employees to identify perceived barriers to hand-washing, cleaning work surfaces and using food thermometers. Foodborne illnesses are most commonly caused by poor personal hygiene, cross contamination and improper time/temperature controls.
Barriers, they found, were not only a lack of food safety knowledge but also often a lack of understanding why employees should comply with food safety guidelines. Previous research indicated that training increases knowledge regarding food safety issues, but that knowledge does not always translate into improved behaviors.
"We have used the results of this study to develop and implement an intervention program to address the barriers that training appears," said Amber D. Howells, an instructor of dietetics, registered dietitian and the study's first author.
The restaurant industry employs 13.1 million people, and 59 percent of reported foodborne illness outbreaks were associated with restaurants in 2005. Howells said outbreaks usually are directly related to food-handler error.
Because of the study, K-State researchers recommend that restaurant managers:
* Provide regular food safety training to their foodservice employees;
* Educate employees about the consequences of improper food handling to improve attitudes toward food safety;
* Place signs about consequences of improper food handling in food production areas;
* Encourage food safety compliance with verbal reminders and praise;
* Be good role models;
* Incorporate food safety practices into employees' daily routines to eliminate the perceptions that they do not have time to perform them.
Other researchers with the K-State's department of hospitality management and dietetics involved with the study included Betsy B. Barrett, associate professor and a registered dietitian; Kevin R. Roberts, assistant professor; and Carol W. Shanklin, professor, interim dean of the Graduate School and a registered dietitian. Also involved were Valerie K. York, an evaluator in K-State's office of educational innovation and evaluation, and Laura A. Brannon, associate professor of psychology.
For the study, two series of focus groups were conducted. Focus groups were to identify obvious barriers to following safe food preparation practices. The 34 participants in Group A, all restaurant employees involved in food preparation, received no special food safety training. The 125 participants in the second series of focus groups, Group B, were divided into 20 focus groups and received four hours of formal training from certified ServSafe instructors.
The research found that employees did not comply with food safety guidelines because of a variety of perceived barriers.
In Group A, additional barriers identified lack of space and other tasks competing with cleaning work surfaces; inconvenient location of sinks and having dry skin limiting hand-washing; and lack of working thermometers and thermometers in inconvenient locations.
Group B agreed with Group A, but added other barriers: lack of incentive to clean work surfaces and manager not monitoring the work and manager not monitoring the use of thermometers.
Research results were published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Shanklin. The $482,763 grant also is funding other food safety research.
Jane Marshall | Newswise Science News
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Information Technology
18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation