DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A “COUNTER-TOP” TRAINING PROGRAM TO INCREASE RETENTION OF FOOD SAFETY KNOWLEDGE, ALTER BEHAVIOR, IMPROVE ATTITUDE, AND INCREASE SKILLS OF SPANISH-SPEAKING RETAIL EMPLOYEES

Open Access
Author:
Richard, Angela Elizabeth
Graduate Program:
Food Science
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
January 21, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Dr Cutter, Thesis Advisor
  • Catherine Nettles Cutter, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • spanish training program
  • food safety training
  • carniceria
  • observations
  • FTF-training
Abstract:
Foodborne illness is a major concern for retail industries. This issue is compounded by lack of food safety training, cultural differences, and language barriers. In this study, researchers developed a customized, Spanish food safety training program that was used with employees of delicatessens (carnicerías) in Reading, Pennsylvania. The training program was designed to increase retention of food safety knowledge, improve attitude, alter behavior, and increase skills. Initially, needs assessments of employees were conducted by concealed-direct observations, a demographic survey, and a manager preference survey. Needs assessment data were used to develop a customized “counter-top” food safety training program that included images and oral supplementation in Spanish and addressed common food safety issues occurring in the carnicerías. Due to the low literacy level of participants, training was conducted on site via face-to-face (FTF) and in Spanish. The inclusion criteria for the carnicerías required that they have a meat display case, a meat slicer, employees >18 years, and employees who spoke Spanish as their first language. Twenty carnicerías were assigned randomly to two treatments groups: control-no training or FTF-training. The food safety “counter-top” training program included four different assessments: knowledge, attitude, behavior, and performance of a skill (hand washing). The assessments were given pre-training (2 weeks prior), post-training (2 weeks after) and delayed- post training (3 weeks after the post-test). Analysis using ANCOVA for knowledge and skill results demonstrated a significant difference in post-test and delayed post-test scores when controlling for the pre-test scores of the FTF-trained group, as compared to the control group. The findings of this current study demonstrated that food safety attitude and behavior changes were not significant, although numerical improvements were observed. A “counter-top” food safety training program could impact positively on retail establishments to improve food safety practices of their low literacy, Spanish-speaking, employees.