The purpose of this study was to use a validated instrument to determine the attitudes and knowledge of high school teachers regarding food irradiation, and to determine the correlations among their knowledge and attitudes and certain demographic variables. Knowledge and attitudes about food irradiation were measured in selected high school family and consumer sciences teachers (n = 121) who taught Food and Nutrition, Food Science and Technology, and/or Food Production Management and Services, via a 24-item instrument with 6 factors. Results revealed these teachers held neutral to positive attitudes about the safety of irradiated foods, their perception of the risk of foodborne illness, and learning about food irradiation, and neutral to negative perceptions of their understanding of food irradiation and their competence to teach about it These teachers had a moderate knowledge base regarding food irradiation. Teachers' attitudes regarding the safety of food irradiation were positively correlated with their perceived understanding of food irradiation, actual knowledge of it, and competence to teach about it Their perceived understanding of food irradiation was positively correlated with competence to teach about it, knowledge, and attitudes toward the safety of food irradiation. The only demographic variable correlated with knowledge or attitudes was teachers' previous food irradiation educational experiences. These data suggest the importance of education for family and consumer sciences teachers concerning food irradiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science