Needs to be compelling: Does training improve food safety?

A successful food safety intervention must be based on firm theories and a consideration of all relevant variables. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of improvement in food safety knowledge and practices of food handlers in primary school canteens through food safety training.

compel – A list of 98 primary schools was randomized into intervention and control groups using a multistage sampling method. The training programme for the intervention group and questionnaires for evaluating knowledge and practices were developed. On-site observations were done to assess hygienic practices during the handling of raw food and cooking equipment. In total, 16 school canteens participated in this study.

– Knowledge about personal hygiene and related to rules for preparing safe food was significantly improved after the food safety intervention. Some of the improvement was sustained for up to 12 weeks after the intervention. The self-reported practice score of food safety and hygiene in the intervention group was significantly higher at post1 and post2 compared to baseline. A significant within-group and between-group improvement was demonstrated for the observed behaviour of raw food handling and equipment sanitation.

– The originality of this study is to provide a new framework for the design and implementation of food safety intervention in school canteens targeted towards a specific enabling factor for behavioural change. Provision of food safety training grounded by the theory of planned behaviour was associated with significantly improved food safety knowledge and behaviour amongst food handlers.

Effect of food safety training on food handlers’ knowledge and practices

British Food Journal, Volume 118, Number 4, 2016, pp. 795-808(14)

Husain, Nik Rosmawati Nik; Muda, Wan Manan Wan; Jamil, Noor Izani Noor; Hanafi, Nik Nurain Nik; Rahman, Razlina A

We had our own take on training effectiveness a few years back:

Investigating the potential benefits of on-site food safety training for Folklorama, a temporary food service event

Journal of Food Protection®, Volume 75, Number 10, October 2012 , pp. 1829-1834(6)

Mancini, Roberto; Murray, Leigh; Chapman, Benjamin J.; Powell, Douglas A.

Rob_Mancini_001Folklorama in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a 14-day temporary food service event that explores the many different cultural realms of food, food preparation, and entertainment. In 2010, the Russian pavilion at Folklorama was implicated in a foodborne outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 that caused 37 illnesses and 18 hospitalizations. The ethnic nature and diversity of foods prepared within each pavilion presents a unique problem for food inspectors, as each culture prepares food in their own very unique way. The Manitoba Department of Health and Folklorama Board of Directors realized a need to implement a food safety information delivery program that would be more effective than a 2-h food safety course delivered via PowerPoint slides. The food operators and event coordinators of five randomly chosen pavilions selling potentially hazardous food were trained on-site, in their work environment, focusing on critical control points specific to their menu. A control group (five pavilions) did not receive on-site food safety training and were assessed concurrently. Public health inspections for all 10 pavilions were performed by Certified Public Health Inspectors employed with Manitoba Health. Critical infractions were assessed by means of standardized food protection inspection reports. The results suggest no statistically significant difference in food inspection scores between the trained and control groups. However, it was found that inspection report results increased for both the control and trained groups from the first inspection to the second, implying that public health inspections are necessary in correcting unsafe food safety practices. The results further show that in this case, the 2-h food safety course delivered via slides was sufficient to pass public health inspections. Further evaluations of alternative food safety training approaches are warranted.

Nine-year-old proves what ads won’t admit – sanitizers sorta suck

A fourth-grade student in Olympia, Washington has won her local science fair by demonstrating that hand sanitizers suck at killing E. coli.

Nine-year-old Celia Vernon won her class science fair at Roosevelt Elementary with an experiment involving a live sample of E. coli. Under the guidance of her father, a biologist with a background in microbiology, Vernon tested several solutions on E.coli, including Purell brand hand sanitizer.

In a side-by-side comparison with common bleach, the E.coli on the Purell side survived. On the bleach side, it died.

The Vernons say they have no bone to pick with Purell, but were surprised to learn it doesn’t kill one of the main dangers associated with exposures from using bathrooms.

A spokesperson for the makers of Purell told KING 5 News that it stands by its claims to kill 99 percent of germs and suggested we contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC spokesperson says they have not studied hand sanitizers specifically on E.coli and recommend hand sanitizers only when soap and water are not available.

I know 99 per cent sounds cool, but considering the volume of bacteria out there, it don’t mean squat.

Does hand sanitizer use decline when there seems to be fewer scary bugs around? NZ study says yes

New Zealand researchers report in Eurosurveillance today about hand sanitiser use in a hospital entrance foyer four months after a baseline study during New Zealand’s influenza pandemic.

Of the 743 people observed over one (summer) day in December 2009, 8.2% used the hand sanitiser, which was significantly lower (p<0.0001) than the 18.0% reported in the August (winter) study. Health authorities may need to intensify promotion of hand hygiene to reduce the impact of future influenza pandemic waves.

We’re exploring more on the shock and shame approach in a number of settings.

Save Lives: Clean Your Hands

Megan Hardigree, a research associate at Kansas State University working on hand hygiene, writes that this year, Cinco de Mayo wasn’t just a holiday to celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla (yesterday) or a song by the band, Cake. It was also a day to celebrate the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) newest hand hygiene campaign: Save Lives: Clean Your Hands.

The aim of Save Lives: Clean Your Hands is to stop the spread of infection by increasing hand hygiene of healthcare workers. This is said to be the next step of the original, Clean Care is Safer Care, from 2005. The initiative persuades individuals to join the movement with gain-framed messages (they apparently encourage positive behavior) such as “Help stop hospital acquired infections in your country” and “Make patient safety your number one priority.”

To help support this initiative, WHO has accompanied the promotion with a variety of tools and resources to aid healthcare facilities in promoting and enforcing better hand hygiene. These tools include: tools for system change, tools for training and education, tools for evaluation and feedback, tools as reminders in the workplace, and tools for institutional safety climate. My personal favorite, mostly because of the fun diagram, is in the “tools as reminders in the workplace” which includes “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene:”

• before touching a patient;
• before clean/aseptic procedures;
• after body fluid exposure/risk;
• after touching a patient; and,
• after touching patient surroundings.

 “Be a part of a global movement to improve hand hygiene, “ says WHO.

Now to evaluate whether any of these messages actually compel people to wash their hands.