Surveys still suck: And what would those educational programs be?

Foodborne illness is a global public health issue.

shuttle.bus.vomitYoung adults may work in foodservice while they are university students, and their habits may later shape the practices and well-being of their children. The objective of this study was to establish baseline data and assess the food safety knowledge of 18- to 26-year-old Univ. of Maine students.

Demographic questions and the previously validated Food Safety Knowledge Questionnaire (FSKQ) were placed online. Of 123 people who responded to the email recruitment notice, 104 Univ. of Maine undergraduates aged 18 to 26 years completed the survey. The average score among all participants was 60% correct (53 points out of a possible 89 points). Survey questions that required participants to identify common sources of foodborne pathogens had the lowest average percent correct (31%). Less than 50% of participants were able to correctly identify several high-risk foods, including sliced melon, raw sprouts, and unpasteurized fruit juice.

Our findings indicate a need for educational programs for 18- to 26-year-old Univ. of Maine students in regards to common sources of foodborne pathogens and proper handling of fresh produce and that food safety knowledge among university students has not improved since publication of a national survey using the FSKQ in 2006. Effective educational programs are needed to ensure that young adults understand food risks and appropriate food handling practices.

Assessing the food safety knowledge of University of Maine students

Journal of Food Science Education, Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 14–22, January 2016, DOI: 10.1111/1541-4329.12076

Chelsea C. Ferk, Beth L. Calder, and Mary Ellen Camire;jsessionid=72744E4871E4360B72D6F5057C833C98.f02t04

This entry was posted in Food Safety Policy and tagged , , , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time