Identification of College Students' Food Safety Awareness and Perceived Barriers to Proper Food Handling Practices

  • Cha, Myeong-Hwa (Department of Hotel Restaurant Institution Management & Dietetics, Kansas State University) ;
  • Park, Jyung-Rewng (Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeungnam University)
  • Published : 2005.03.01


The purpose of this study was to investigate culinary arts and hospitality students' food safety practice behaviors, intentions, attitudes, and barriers to food safety compliance. This descriptive study used the self-report questionnaire. The convenience sample was composed of 266 college students majoring in culinary arts and hospitality. The students indicated that they never or rarely use a thermometer to determine if meats have been adequately cooked. Examples of positive food handling behaviors were hand washing, sanitation of fruits and vegetables, discarding of food past its expiration date, counter top sanitation, and proper food storage. Students strongly agreed it is their responsibility to practice food safety and to educate their employees about food safety. The primary barrier to proper food safety as ranked by student respondents is the misunderstanding about food labeling. Previous food safety education and internship experience appeared to improve the student respondents' perceived attitudes toward following the principles of food safety practices (p < 0.05), although behaviors and intentions to use the correct food safety practices were not affected. The findings of this study suggest that programs should consider integrating information and experiential learning opportunities in their courses that would be enhance student understanding about food safety. The outcomes of this study can be applied to develop food safety education materials and programs for culinary arts and hospitality students.


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