Assessing food safety practices in Kansas City, Missouri: An evaluation of a food handler training program
The number of foodborne illnesses linked to improper food handling in food establishments indicates a need for research to improve food safety in these businesses. Past studies suggest increasing Food Handler Training (FHT) Programs, though few jurisdictions have implemented them. A handful of studies have attempted to evaluate the outcomes of FHT. In collaboration with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department, we conducted a second evaluation of the FHT's influence on rates of critical and noncritical violations found during routine inspections. We examined the effect of pre-intervention (policy change requiring food handler training) to post intervention on the rate of critical food violations associated with the training, e.g. hand washing, sanitation, food temperatures, etc. The period of time before implementation of FHT (200-2004) and after initiation of FHT program (2005-2012) were considered. A paired sample t-test was conducted to compare the mean rate of critical violations before and after implementation of the FHT program. There was a significant difference in average rate of critical violations covered in training programs pre-intervention (M=1.38, SD=.92) and after post-intervention (M=1.32, SD=.89); t(1859)=2.98 p-value of 0.003. These results indicate the effectiveness of FHT programs. Future public health implications include adding a food safety behavior component to the current FHT program, identifying the specific training areas where the most violations occur, and increasing the amount of FHT evaluations conducted in the U.S.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Evaluate pre-intervention (policy change requiring food handler training) to post intervention experience by analyzing the number of food violations associated with the training program (e.g. washing of hands, sanitation, use of gloves etc.).
Keyword(s): Food Safety, Evaluation
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a MPH student I worked closely with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department who have experience in Food Safety Practices particularly in the Food Handler Training Program. All of the work on this project was collaborative and double checked to ensure and learn correct research technique.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.