Food Safety Knowledge among Previously Certified Canadian Food Handlers

Adrienne D. Andrew, Ian Young, Andrew Papadopoulos Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 256-268, Jul 2017 Volume 37, Issue 4: Pages 256–268

Food handlers can put the public’s health at risk if they lack food safety knowledge. From March to June of 2015, 197 Canadian TrainCan Inc. foodhandler certification students participated in a food safety survey to assess their knowledge at 1, 3 or 5 years post food handler certification. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify and evaluate demographic variables associated with average knowledge scores. The survey consisted of 27 questions and had a response rate of 8.7%, with an average score of 88%. Participants showed a lack of knowledge on questions regarding reheating potentially hazardous foods, the manual dishwashing procedure and proper sanitary food storage. Multivariable logistic regression modelling identified a significant association (P < 0.05) of average food safety knowledge survey scores to education level, years lived in Canada, and years worked in the food service industry, with the relationship to gender being borderline significant. Regular food safety retraining between recertification courses is advocated for food handlers, to maintain their food safety knowledge and awareness, so as to ensure safe food for consumers.

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