Assessing Short- and Long-term Food Safety Attitude and Behavior of Home-based Food Operators

Leah Reever, Melissa Cater, Shannon M. Coleman Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 389-399, Jul 2021 Volume 41, Issue 4: Pages 389–399

Farmers’ markets have become popular places for consumers to get a variety of other foods. However, confusion around state-specific food safety led to vendors being unclear about requirements. A needs assessment was distributed to vendors to determine the need for a training program addressing state-specific safety regulations. A State of Iowa food regulations-specific food safety intervention was developed for home-based food operators about food safety practices applicable to the home kitchen, production, and point-of-sale. The objective of this study was to assess the changes in participants’ attitudes and behavior toward food safety practices using the seven constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior. Participants were asked to complete a pretest, a posttest, and a 6- to 8-week follow-up evaluation. Results of the assessment show that participants had a high mean response to the constructs, with all questions except attitude having a mean of 5 or higher and attitude having a mean of 4 or higher at all testing times. Participants’ responses became slightly more positive between the pre and post survey but returned to levels close to the initial responses 6 to 8 weeks following the training program. The evaluation indicates a need to focus on participants’ long-term attitude and behavioral changes within all constructs measured in training program.

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