An evaluation of the use of menu risk assessment as a tool in food service protection programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cz30pw62f

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  • Despite the increase in information on the causes of foodborne disease, outbreaks continue to be a major preventable public health problem. Current food service establishment inspection programs, however, are not designed to assess the potential of risk for foodborne disease and do not focus prevention efforts where food service problems are more severe. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to first, compare mean inspection scores, mean number of critical violations, and mean risk index values for high risk, moderate risk and low risk food service establishments in Marion County, Oregon. Second, the study determined if menu risk assessment can be used to identify facilities that are considered to be "high risk" facilities. The data included most recent routine inspection results that had been previously collected by local sanitarians and data collected from a Menu Risk Assessment Survey which was developed by the Virginia Department of Health. The Menu Risk Assessment Survey was administered using a stratified random design, to 400 food service managers/owners between October 1993 and December 1993 The results showed that high risk establishments had lower mean inspection scores, higher mean number of critical violations, and a smaller mean risk index value than moderate or low risk establishments. The differences were attributed to lack of manager food safety education, menu items served, and operational practices observed in the establishment. The results also showed that there were statistically significant differences (p<.05) in the mean inspection score and the mean number of critical violations of "high risk" establishments and "low risk" establishments when responses to the Menu Risk Assessment Survey were compared. For example: 1) Establishments whose managers do not have food handler's training demonstrate more critical violations than establishments with trained managers, 2) Critical violations and lower inspection scores were more likely to occur in establishments that prepared and served potentially hazardous foods, 3) Food service establishments that handle extensive amounts of potentially hazardous food and serve larger populations were more likely to have lower inspection scores and increased numbers of critical violations. Based on the results found in this research, local health departments may find the Menu Risk Assessment Survey to be a useful tool in determining high, moderate, and low risk food service establishments to focus prevention efforts where the problems are more severe and are of greater public health risk.
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