Students’ Understanding, Awareness and Use of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a relatively new concept, having launched in 2010. Continual updates including new Legislation associated with the scheme and mandatory display have been implemented regularly since its launch. Therefore, it is important to monitor its success amongst consumers and food businesses. The purpose of this study was to identify students’ understanding, awareness and use of the scheme when studying in an area with mandatory display. An online questionnaire was produced and released using a snowball technique via social media and university emails. No age limit was set although participants had to be a minimum of 18 years old and studying at a university in Wales. The variables examined included knowledge prior to university and since coming to university, the purpose of the scheme, and where the scheme is in operation including any areas where display is mandatory. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected, with the latter being analysed using Chi Squared. Limited responses were gathered (n=60), although results found that there was a small but significant difference between knowledge of respondents prior to university and their knowledge since coming to university. This showed a significance value of p=0.000 (less than p=0.001). Another finding within the research was that only 7% of respondents could correctly identify display of the awarded rating is mandatory within Wales and Northern Ireland, potentially suggesting that consumers are not using the scheme to its full potential. The findings within this research show the scheme is continuing to improve consumers’ knowledge of food hygiene, although this study only concentrates on students studying in Wales and therefore does not give an overall level of understanding of the scheme throughout the UK.
BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology
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