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Title: The effectiveness of basic or foundation level food hygiene training amongst SMEs
Author: Seaman, Phillip
ISNI:       0000 0001 3391 9126
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2007
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The majority of food-borne disease outbreaks result from malpractice during food preparation in small food businesses. Effective food safety management, including the adoption of safe food handling practices learnt during food safety training programmes, is thus an important strategy to limit incidences of food poisoning. This study explores the impact of basic or foundation level food hygiene training on the attitudes and intentions of food handlers towards safe food handling practices and the barriers to adoption of such practices. The Theory of Planned Behaviour was used to evaluate the relative impact of different influences on the intentions and self-reported behaviours of 249 food handlers, in catering and care sectors. Interviews were also conducted with food handlers, their managers and training providers to seek further insight into perceptions of food hygiene training and explore physical, psychological and job-related barriers influencing the outcomes of training. Most food handlers did have access to formal food hygiene training, however, many, 59% in some cases, were preparing food having had no food hygiene training. Uptake appears to be constrained by many factors including: - rapid staff turnover in the food industry, cost restrictions, employers unaware of their responsibilities, and a lack of time to undertake training. Appropriate pre-training support and on-going supervision, also appeared to be lacking, thus limiting the effectiveness of training. Findings consistently showed that Subjective Norms played the most significant part in influencing the food handlers’ intention to perform safe food handling practices, irrespective of industry sector or training status. Findings also show that attitude towards carrying out safe food handling practices and the intention to perform the behaviour did not differ significantly between pre and post trained respondents, suggesting that food hygiene training was not effective at increasing the attitude of food handler’s towards the behaviour or their intention to carrying out such practices, at every opportunity. The study has shown that the KAP model is flawed in its assumptions that knowledge is the main precursor to behavioural change, and that any positive effects gained from formal food hygiene training programmes will be ephemeral, without appropriate workplace support, both pre and post training. ‘The Food Hygiene Model’ is presented, which addresses the major factors that can contribute to effective food hygiene training, and which, if adopted, could potentially ensure longer term success of food hygiene training programs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available