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An understanding the food safety knowledge among food science students in Iraq

Sanar Muhyaddin (Faculty of Social and Life Science, School of Social and Life Sciences, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, UK)
Iman Sabir (Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK and College of Agricultural Engineering, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraq)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 13 May 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023




Food-borne diseases can be prevented with the knowledge of food safety. Food-related infirmity, especially in developing economy perspective such as Iraq can be addressed effectively with adequate food safety knowledge. So, this study aims to analyse the food safety knowledge of Iraqi students studying in food science programs.


Four aspects of food safety, namely, the food poisoning, personal hygiene, temperature control and cross contamination and cleaning were considered to understand the food safety knowledge of Iraqi students. A survey of 105 Iraqi food technology students was conducted to know their food safety knowledge. A structured questionnaire was made involving multiple choice scales. Among the alternatives, one alternative was right and all other alternatives were wrong. Respondents were asked to pick the correct answer amongst the given alternatives. Correct answer given by the respondent was considered a measure of food safety knowledge.


Findings of the study revealed that students had insufficient knowledge about various dimensions of food safety. Students had knowledge about the food poisoning (p < 0.001) Students had partial understanding about personal hygiene wherein they had knowledge about handwashing practices (p < 0.001) and food-handling practices (p < 0.001). Respondents had knowledge about role of freezing in bacterial growth (p < 0.001). Students only had knowledge about separation of cooked and uncooked food (p < 0.001), indicating partial understanding about cross contamination and cleanliness. Both age and gender of the student did not have relationship with their food safety knowledge. The results implied that instructors and tutors should stress upon the socio-cultural facets to facilitate the food safety knowledge. Educators should also emphasize upon the application and laboratory demonstration of food safety knowledge rather than over-emphasizing the theoretical part.

Research limitations/implications

The present study suffers from multiple limitations demanding specific mention. The study undertook a quantitative methodology and made use of a close-ended questionnaire. As generally the quantitative studies include the self-reported actions or behaviours of the selected respondents, the present study also offers its results on the basis of self-reported behaviour of the students. It might be possible to observe the difference between the stated and actual behaviour of the food technology students. Other researchers might use an observational study to obtain more genuine results.


It is important to study food technology students regarding their food safety knowledge due to their projected future roles, as students are stipulated to perform the role of managers, food handlers, trainers, experts and caterers in the future in food industry. These students are more likely to influence the food safety orientations of society at large than the those belonging to other educational programs. Hence, this study offered a review of food safety knowledge of food technology students.



Muhyaddin, S. and Sabir, I. (2023), "An understanding the food safety knowledge among food science students in Iraq", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 2, pp. 234-248.



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