Evaluation of program impact is needed to show the worth of a program. There are few studies of training program impact on food safety behaviors within food production and processing settings. Our research objectives were to develop, implement and evaluate a pilot food safety educational program for Hispanic workers in the mushroom industry using the results of a needs assessment and elements from the knowledge and motivational systems of the Health Action Model (HAM). The impact of three independent variables was tested in the pilot test: (1) The food safety educational lessons (knowledge system); (2) the supervisors acting as role models and food safety rules encouragers (motivational system - expectancy & instrumentality); and (3) a monetary incentive (motivational system - valence). The dependent variables (behaviors), included three different handwashing opportunities plus jewelry and hairnet usage. The educational lessons alone produced a significant increase in knowledge and handwashing after using the restroom. With supervisor post lesson enforcement, handwashing before work and after breaks also increased significantly. No effect of the monetary incentive was observed. Thus, training must be followed by supervisory personnel enforcement of behavioral rules. Management support of the supervisory role will increase the success in any food safety program within the industry. Based on these findings the HAM model can serve as a guide to develop customized food safety educational materials at a variety of different settings and target audiences in food production facilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science