Food safety knowledge, attitudes and self-reported practices among Ontario high school students.

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From: Canadian Journal of Public Health(Vol. 106, Issue 8)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 4,963 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Abstract :

OBJECTIVES: To measure the food safety knowledge, attitudes and self-reported practices of high school students in Ontario. METHODS: We administered a school-wide paper survey to the student body (n = 2,860) of four Ontario high schools. We developed the survey by selecting questions from existing, validated questionnaires, prioritizing questions that aligned with the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's educational messages and the food safety objectives from the 2013 Ontario High School Curriculum. RESULTS: One in five students reported currently handling food in commercial or public-serving venues; of these, 45.1% had ever taken a course that taught them how to prepare food (e.g., food and nutrition classes, food handler certification). Food safety knowledge among respondents was low. For example, 17.3% knew that the best way to determine whether hamburgers were cooked enough to eat was to measure the temperature with a food thermometer. Despite low knowledge, most respondents (72.7%) reported being confident that they could cook safe, healthy meals for themselves and their families. Safe food handling practices were frequently self-reported. Most students (86.5%) agreed that being able to cook safe, healthy meals was an important life skill, although their interest in learning about safe food handling and concern about foodborne disease were less pronounced. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that food safety knowledge is low, yet confidence in preparing safe, healthy meals is high, among high school students. Because work and volunteer opportunities put students in contact with both the public and food, this group is important to target for increased education about safe food handling. KEY WORDS: Food safety; food handling; students; education; adolescent; Ontario Can J Public Health 2015;106(8):e514-e519 doi: 10.17269/CJPH.106.5213 OBJECTIFS: Mesurer les connaissances, les attitudes et les pratiques autodeclarees d'eleves du secondaire de l'Ontario en matiere de salubrite des aliments. METHODE: Nous avons administre un sondage sur papier a tous les eleves (n = 2 860) de quatre ecoles secondaires de l'Ontario. Nous avons elabore le sondage en choisissant des questions de questionnaires valides existants, en privilegiant les questions conformes aux messages educatifs du Partenariat canadien pour la salubrite des aliments et aux objectifs de salubrite des aliments des programmes d'etudes secondaires de l'Ontario en 2013. RESULTATS: Un eleve sur cinq a declare manipuler des aliments dans des etablissements commerciaux ou de service a la clientele; de ce nombre, 45,1 % avaient deja suivi un cours de preparation des aliments (classes sur l'alimentation et la nutrition, formation des preposes a la manipulation des aliments). Les connaissances en salubrite des aliments chez les repondants etaient faibles. Par exemple, seulement 17,3 % savaient que le meilleur moyen de determiner si des hamburgers sont assez cuits pour etre manges est d'en mesurer la temperature avec un thermometre de cuisson. Malgre leur manque de connaissances, la plupart des repondants (72,7 %) ont dit etre surs de pouvoir cuire des repas sains et salubres pour eux-memes et leur famille. Ils ont souvent declare avoir des pratiques de manipulation hygienique des aliments. La plupart des eleves (86,5 %) convenaient que d'etre capables de cuire des repas sains et salubres etait une competence essentielle, mais leur interet pour l'apprentissage de la manipulation hygienique des aliments et leur preoccupation pour les intoxications alimentaires etaient moins prononces. CONCLUSION: Nos constatations montrent que les connaissances sur la salubrite des aliments sont faibles chez les eleves du secondaire, mais que ces eleves sont tres surs de pouvoir preparer des repas sains et salubres. Etant donne que les occasions d'emploi et de benevolat mettent les eleves en contact avec le public et les aliments, il est important de cibler ce groupe pour accroitre leurs connaissances de la manipulation hygienique des aliments. MOTS CLES: salubrite des aliments; manipulation des aliments; etudiants; enseignement; adolescent; Ontario

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A449316292