· Dec 15, 2008
Source of Article: http://ohsonline.com/Articles/2008/12/15-Study-Examines-Workers-Food-Safety-Practices.aspx
According to a recent
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:
regular food safety training to their foodservice employees.
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