Food handlers' beliefs and self-reported practices
Griffith, Chris J.
Peters, Adrian C.
Taylor & Francis Ltd.
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Despite an increase in the number of food handlers receiving food hygiene training, a high proportion of food poisoning outbreaks still occur as a result of poor food handling practices. This paper uses elements of social cognitive theory to examine the beliefs of food handlers towards food safety and to determine food handlers" self-reported practices. Questionnaires were completed by 137 food handlers from 52 small to medium-sized food businesses in Wales. Generally, food handlers were aware of the food safety actions they should be carrying out but identified a number of barriers which would prevent them from implementing these practices. These barriers included lack of time, lack of staff and a lack of resources. Despite 95% of respondents receiving food hygiene training, 63% admitted to sometimes not carrying out food safety behaviours. All the food handlers also perceived their business to be of relatively low risk and yet all businesses prepared high risk foods. This research highlights the need for training to be based around a risk-based approach and demonstrates that behavioural change will not occur merely as a result of training. Food safety practices will only be implemented given adequate resources and an appropriate management culture.
International Journal of Environmental Health Research
International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 12 (1), pp.25-39
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