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Food safety practices of future food handlers and their teachers, observed during practical lessons

Andrej Ovca (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Mojca Jevšnik (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Peter Raspor (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 March 2018

609

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate future food handlers’ practices during practical lessons close to the end of their formal vocational education, and to record teachers’ behaviour and to evaluate classrooms that were intended for practical lessons.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 90 students between 17 and 19 years of age, 12 teachers, and 12 training classrooms intended for practical lessons, which were divided into six observation sessions in the field of catering and six observation sessions in the field of food processing (bakery, confectionery, and butchery), were observed.

Findings

Both proper and inappropriate food-handling practices were observed among teachers and students. Comparing the hygienic-technical conditions of the training classrooms with teachers’ and students’ behaviour revealed several interconnected situations increasing the risk of food contamination during the production process.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected by one observer who was not part of the class. The sample size was small, limiting the generalisability of the results.

Practical implications

The results indicate the weaknesses in the formal vocational education of future professional food handlers.

Social implications

Good food safety practices among food handlers reduce societal costs related to health-care systems and food industry economic losses.

Originality/value

The study provides an insight into the education and training of future professional food handlers in a controlled environment in educational institutions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding No. P3-0388). The authors would also like to acknowledge the participating vocational schools for making this research possible.

Citation

Ovca, A., Jevšnik, M. and Raspor, P. (2018), "Food safety practices of future food handlers and their teachers, observed during practical lessons", British Food Journal, Vol. 120 No. 3, pp. 531-548. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2017-0292

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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