Food Safety Practices: Exploratory Assessment of South Carolina Child-care Facilities Health and Safety Inspection Data

Joel Reynolds, Lakshman Rajagopal

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 107-115, Mar 2017

Volume 37, Issue 2: Pages 107–115

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Health and safety inspection reports of 300 South Carolina licensed center-based child-care facilities were evaluated to identify gaps in current foodhandling practices by documenting the frequency of food safety violations. Based on the South Carolina child care licensing policy manual, 13 food safety violation categories were established, with each category containing individual food safety violations. Of the 300 health and safety inspection reports evaluated, a total of 453 food safety violations were identified. The majority (88.6%) of child-care facilities had fewer than three food safety violations. The frequency of food safety violations within each category ranged from 6 to 98. The three most prevalent food safety violation categories were “lack of labeled food & beverages” (n = 98, 21.6%), “lack of temperature controls” (n = 75, 16.6%), and “improper cleaning & sanitizing” (n = 67, 14.8%). The three least prevalent food safety violation categories were “inadequate heating & cooling of food” (n = 6, 1.3%), “evidence of pest infestation” (n = 7, 1.5%), and “lack of nutritional guidelines” (n = 10, 2.2%). Results identified areas of food safety violations in child-care facilities that can serve to inform practitioners, educators, and researchers seeking to develop interventions that can address these gaps.

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