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Article

Ana Radulovic, Ingela Marklinder, Milica Mirkovic, Jelena Miocinovic and Svjetlana Jankovic Soja

Strengthening awareness and education to address food safety problem is of importance. The purpose of this study is to investigate food safety knowledge and opinion among…

Abstract

Purpose

Strengthening awareness and education to address food safety problem is of importance. The purpose of this study is to investigate food safety knowledge and opinion among Serbian students and the efficiency of education on their self-reported behaviour as consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire on the attitudes and self-reported behaviour of students was completed by 414 students at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Serbia. The questions covered hand hygiene; cross-contamination; conditions of food cooling; and knowledge of risky food. Students were divided into two groups: students in their first and second year of study (1–2 YoS) who had not attended any subjects related to food safety during their education; students in the third and fourth years of the Food Technology Program (3–4 YoS) who had completed one or more courses concerning food safety during their education.

Findings

Overall, there were significant differences in the opinions of 1–2 YoS students and 3–4 YoS students on most issues. It was noted that male students are at higher risk when it comes to food handling. Considering the significant impact of education as evidenced by the opinions of 3–4 YoS students, it can be concluded that education is effective in raising awareness and changing behaviour among young people.

Originality/value

The study identified how education affects students' opinion and food handling. Moreover, it highlighted the areas of deficiency in students' food safety behaviour, knowledge and attitudes. Limited research has been conducted on food safety knowledge among students.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Marie Lange, Helen Göranzon, Lena Fleig and Ingela Marklinder

The purpose of this paper is to investigate where students in a Swedish compulsory school acquire their knowledge of food safety and how trustworthy they deem them to be.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate where students in a Swedish compulsory school acquire their knowledge of food safety and how trustworthy they deem them to be.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of students’ self-reported sources of and trust in food safety knowledge was performed. A student response system was used for data collection, and the students were asked to answer questions presented on a PowerPoint presentation using a small wireless handheld device: a clicker. A questionnaire with 24 questions was used, and the responses were collected at 18 different schools with a total of 529 participants attending school Year 9.

Findings

Mothers were reported as being the most important source of food safety knowledge (38 per cent), especially among girls, and were also given high credibility (36 per cent). Boys reported trusting home and consumer studies (HCS), fathers and media to a higher extent. Girls reported cooking at home more often but, for all students, it was more common to rarely or never cook at home, which is why HCS teaching can be seen as valuable for many students. HCS teaching needs to be improved in order to raise its credibility. About half of the students (51 per cent) reported to have the highest trust for their source of knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The students could only choose one source of knowledge and trust, although it is usual to learn from many different sources.

Practical implications

HCS teaching needs to get higher credibility among students as a counterweight against other sources.

Social implications

Educated consumers could influence their health.

Originality/value

Limited research has been performed on food safety knowledge among adolescents.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Ingela Marklinder, Maria Magnusson and Margaretha Nydahl

The purpose of this paper is to identify knowledge gaps in terms of food handling and hygiene among a population in a selected city district.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify knowledge gaps in terms of food handling and hygiene among a population in a selected city district.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a part of the project Community Health Management to Enhance Behaviour (CHANCE), (Lifelong Learning Programme of European Union 2007‐2009). A certain vulnerable group, i.e. older people, were addressed. The study population was recruited by convenience sample. A questionnaire was used to collect data among citizens in a selected city district (n=251). The elderly (71‐80+; n=123) were interviewed face to face, while the younger (21‐70 years; n=128) filled in their data on their own.

Findings

One third of the respondents usually measure the temperature in their refrigerator. However, one third revealed knowledge gaps relating to storage temperature for certain food items. Thirty nine per cent changes dishcloths once a week. Twenty per cent of the elderly usually put raw minced meat into their mouth to taste the seasoning without reflecting on pathogenic bacteria. There was no significant relation between the fear of food poisoning and tasting minced meat, changing the dishcloth often, or cooling down food properly. These results can be interpreted as a sign of knowledge gaps, indicating a need for improved health communication.

Research limitations/implications

The study population consisted of consumers in a selected city district in Uppsala municipality. Therefore the results should not be generalized for Swedes in general.

Practical implications

The collected data and the information of knowledge gaps have been used to perform a local health intervention. The results would reveal relevance for a larger nationwide survey that aims to identify knowledge gaps in terms of food handling and hygiene among Swedish citizens.

Social implications

Data from the present study would be useful in the attempt to implement simple tools at the local level, in order to promote healthy habits among consumers.

Originality/value

An innovative principle in the EU project CHANCE is to work from the inside out. Studies of consumers' food handling in private homes are lacking in Sweden. The present study is rather unique as it explores private households in terms of food handling and hygiene.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 115 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Ingela Marklinder and Mattias K Eriksson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the food storage temperature in Swedish household refrigerators, to determine whether students use the best-before-date label…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the food storage temperature in Swedish household refrigerators, to determine whether students use the best-before-date label to determine food edibility, and to examine if the study increased the students’ interest and knowledge regarding these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 1,812 students, enrolled at 72 Swedish schools, analysed the temperature on different shelves in their family refrigerator using thermometers (Moller-Therm (+0.5/−0.1 °C) and instructions provided by their teachers. A questionnaire dealing with the issues of date labelling, food safety, refrigerator storage and food wastage was completed by the teachers.

Findings

The temperature at the back of middle shelves was coldest (average 4.8 °C; SD 3.1). A relatively high proportion of food items were stored at higher temperatures than recommended. The use-by date had been exceeded for 30 per cent of products, but the students did not rate these as inedible. According to the teachers, the investigation increased interest and knowledge among their students of date labelling, food hygiene, refrigerator storage and food waste.

Research limitations/implications

Thermometers were used to measure air temperature on different shelves in the family refrigerator. Data collection was not controllable, as the students measured without supervision.

Practical implications

The teachers reported that the study increased interest and knowledge among their students regarding cold food storage.

Social implications

This way of teaching food safety would meet the aim of generally increasing food safety knowledge in society, which might have a positive impact on public health.

Originality/value

The use of school-children as data collectors to determine refrigerator temperatures in private homes is a novel approach, which was an efficient way of teaching relevant facts as well as collecting large amounts of data.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Margaretha Nydahl, Fanny Jacobsson, Marielle Lindblom and Ingela Marklinder

The aim of this paper was to analyze the effect according to knowledge and behavior, respectively, through a simplified health information model launched in a selected…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper was to analyze the effect according to knowledge and behavior, respectively, through a simplified health information model launched in a selected city district.

Design/methodology/approach

The intervention in this study encompasses information meetings where two educational computer programs highlighting the “five a day” concept, and food hygiene were showcased in conjunction with a group discussion. In total, 92 people living or working in a selected city district participated. The effect of the intervention was determined by means of inquiries (multiple‐choice) that were carried out prior to, immediately following, and three weeks after the intervention.

Findings

A statistically significant improvement in knowledge of the concepts “five a day”, cross‐contamination, and recommended storage temperature (for smoked salmon and raw mince meat) was observed, however, no major change in behavior was reported.

Practical implications

The knowledge improvement suggests that the education programs, in conjunction with discussions, are a useful information model for raising awareness about the notion of “five a day” and food safety. The results of the study make it clear that there are difficulties in getting people to change their behavior, let alone getting them to participate in health education offered locally.

Originality/value

Intervention projects are a communication tool that may be used in order to increase knowledge and produce behavioral change. The project is working from the inside out, i.e. it examines the needs first and then develops solutions for them.

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