A new study from the University of Waterloo in Canada highlights a low level of awareness among youth around the proper precautions they need to take when it comes to handling food.
The study measured 32 different food-handling behaviours among Ontario high school students in grades 10 to 12. The findings: fewer than 50 per cent of the recommended practices were followed by students, including basic hand hygiene and procedures to prevent cross-contamination.
High school are just starting to prepare food on their own and for others, and they're also beginning to work in the food industry. But according to this study, they need to be more educated about safe food handling.
About the study
The researchers observed he students in high school food and nutrition classes three times, once before the students took an Ontario standard food-handling training program, then two weeks and three months later. The program helped them improve their skills significantly, but many students continued to engage in risky behaviours known to lead to foodborne diseases.
The most significant improvement after the training course occurred on thermometer use, which is the only way to determine doneness, or how thoroughly cooked a cut of meat is. Student use went from five per cent at the first observation to 36 and 33 per cent in two weeks and three months respectively.
"Even though training programs have important benefits, there are obviously still gaps between knowledge and how food handlers behave," said the researchers. "Food safety education improves knowledge and behaviour, but unless the values are reinforced in other areas such as home life and society, the behaviours will not always stick."
In this study, the behaviours remained consistent between the second and third observations, likely
Source: University of Waterloo
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.