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Self-reported food safety knowledge and practices of early-school-aged children – a result of analysis in towns near the Warsaw city

Marzena Tomaszewska (Department of Food Gastronomy and Food Hygiene, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Katarzyna Neffe-Skocińska (Department of Food Gastronomy and Food Hygiene, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Monika Trząskowska (Department of Food Gastronomy and Food Hygiene, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Joanna Trafialek (Department of Food Gastronomy and Food Hygiene, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Lidia Wadolowska (Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Food Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Olsztyn, Poland)
Jadwiga Hamulka (Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 8 March 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021

275

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and practices of selected group of Polish children in early school age in terms of issues such as: (1) the principles of food preparation, storage and eating meals; (2) personal hygiene; and (3) basic information about microorganisms.

Design/methodology/approach

The auditorium survey method was used. The questionnaire consisted of 15 questions related to the children's knowledge of personal hygiene, the principles of food preparation and storage and the physiology of microorganisms and 13 questions related to the children's personal and food hygiene practice. In total, 169 questionnaires were collected. The study group of children had incomplete knowledge and often reported inappropriate food hygiene practices.

Findings

The subjects of food preparation and storage and knowledge of microbes were particular problem areas. By contrast, aspects related to handwashing, the appropriate practices while coughing or sneezing and washing fruit before consumption were positively evaluated. The children demonstrated the most knowledge in the field of personal hygiene. However, a very low percentage of correct answers was noted for the question about handwashing at school. None of the 13 questions related to this practice received more than 90% correct answers. The boys and girls demonstrated a comparable level of knowledge and practice in the area of food safety. It was showed that the place of school influenced answers to a greater extent compared to gender.

Originality/value

The results of the study play an important role in the prevention of food poisoning and are useful for the teachers, staff of training institutions and parents. They can also inspire institutions in countries with a high incidence of food poisoning to search for the causes in the inappropriate hygienic practices of young children.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The study was financially supported by the Carrefour Foundation (Agreement ABC No. 3/2017) and from sources of the Polish Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education.Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript or in the decision to publish the results.

Citation

Tomaszewska, M., Neffe-Skocińska, K., Trząskowska, M., Trafialek, J., Wadolowska, L. and Hamulka, J. (2021), "Self-reported food safety knowledge and practices of early-school-aged children – a result of analysis in towns near the Warsaw city", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 7, pp. 2461-2477. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-09-2020-0797

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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