Assessment of food safety knowledge and attitudes of managers of residential childcare institutions (RCCI) in the northeast
Posted: June 3rd, 2012 - 12:30pm
A needs assessment survey was designed and performed to measure both food safety knowledge of and attitudes toward food safety issues of key foodservice personnel of Residential Childcare Institutions (RCCIs) in the Northeast region. A total of 1,230 surveys were distributed and received by individual RCCI site addresses;186 were included in the analysis, for a 15.1% return rate. Respondents answered 44 questions on food safety topics in food safety content areas of cook/prepare, chill/cold storage, clean/hygiene, receiving/general storage, food handling and allergens. The response
for the questions was agree, disagree, don’t know or not applicable. A Likert scale response format was used for attitude questions. Descriptive one-way ANOVA and t-tests were run. Using 80% as the standard for subject mastery, only 27 of the 44 items (55%) met the proficiency standard, with cook/prepare (66%) and chill/cold storage (67%) having the lowest mean correct scores. Facilities with ≤ 20 residents scored significantly lower in total knowledge (P < 0.05) than larger institutions, with scores of 71% and 80%, respectively. Smaller facilities received significantly lower scores in 5 of
the 6 content categories and were less likely to have food safety plans (67% versus 83% for larger) or recipes based on HACCP implementation (28% versus 64% for larger). Overall attitude scores reflected a positive belief about responsibilities for general food safety practices and implementation of food safety practices, policies, inspections and training. Eighty percent (80%) indicated that they would like to see food safety training provided for staff and/or residents.