The Use Of Consumer Knowledge, Beliefs And Attitudes In The Development Of A Local Authority Strategy For Domestic Food Hygiene Education

Mathias, Kathryn Anne (1999). The Use Of Consumer Knowledge, Beliefs And Attitudes In The Development Of A Local Authority Strategy For Domestic Food Hygiene Education. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ff50

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to evaluate knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of domestic food handlers in Port Talbot by means of questionnaires and use the information gained to formulate a local authority health education strategy.

Survey 1 looked at the food hygiene knowledge and practices of 88 residents in such areas as temperature control, cooking and cross contamination. Whilst people had a sound knowledge of how to prepare safe food, there were areas in which knowledge was lacking, e.g. - only 14% thawed meat in the refrigerator and 35% put food in the refrigerator wherever there was space.

Survey 2 looked at the food hygiene beliefs of 109 residents. Handwashing was a common belief with 74% listing it as something they could do to make food safe. However only 14% identified defrosting thoroughly and only 4% listed changing dishcloths regularly.

Survey 3 looked at the attitude of 64 residents to food hygiene. Generally respondents demonstrated a positive attitude with 92% acknowledging that good food hygiene will prevent food poisoning. However 20% did not see the home environment as having the potential to cause food poisoning. There was no significant difference in attitude between male and female, younger and older respondents or those with or without food hygiene training.

The surveys also included questions as to where respondents would go for food hygiene information. One of the areas identified was the mass media. To identify their role in imparting food hygiene information a survey was carried out. Several areas of the mass media were examined including magazines and television cookery programmes. The results indicated the mass media to be an underutilized source of information.

The information gained from the surveys was then used to inform a health education strategy for food hygiene that could be used by a local authority.

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