Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Food safety knowledge and continuing education interests of hospital foodservice managers

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  • Hospital patients are at high risk for foodborne illness; it is essential that hospital foodservice managers know food safety principles. The purpose of this research was to assess the basic food safety knowledge of hospital foodservice managers and to determine their interest in continuing education related to food safety. A survey was mailed to a random sample of 500 acute care hospital foodservice managers in the United States. Usable surveys were returned by 264 (53%) of the managers. Managers correctly answered from 5 to 16 of the 16 basic food safety knowledge question (mean 14.0±1.7). Managers correctly answered questions relating to cross-contamination and risks for foodborne illness (98%), proper procedures for thawing meat, cooling foods, and the sequence for cleaning utensils and equipment (97%). Managers knew current recommendations for storing eggs, use of a steamtable, and could identify a potentially hazardous food (94%). Managers knew the proper sequence and time for hand washing (92%). Questions missed most frequently were end point cooking temperatures for ground beef (52% correct) and chicken (78% correct). However, when managers who chose higher temperatures than required are added, 93 and 94% of the managers would produce a safe product. Managers who chose a temperature lower than required need to review basic cooking procedures. Knowledge scores were not significantly different when the number of hospital meals served, type of hospital ownership or management, managers years in foodservice, years as a manager, education level, general certification, food safety certification, hours spent or planned learning food safety, or the managers own rating of food safety knowledge were compared to knowledge scores. Inservice training was the most used and most preferred method for learning about food safety. Time support from the hospital (66%) was most often identified as contributing to ease in learning about food safety, followed by financial support (57%). Lack of time (76%) and lack of interesting and convenient programs (39%) were most often identified as obstacles to learning. Managers (94%) were interested in learning more about food safety, especially about applying Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles to everyday foodservice procedures.
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