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Int J Environ Health Res. 2004 Oct;14(5):343-50.

Food safety knowledge and practices in ready-to-eat food establishments.

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  • 1Massey University of Wellington, New Zealand.


Safe food handling in ready-to-eat food establishments is a basic element in the reduction of foodborne illness. The aim of this research was to investigate (using a questionnaire), knowledge and attitudes about food safety held by management and staff in ready-to-eat food establishments. Fieldwork was conducted in 2002 in Wellington City, New Zealand. Managers rated 'staff with good food safety knowledge' the most important aspect of ensuring safe food. Half of these managers were prepared to pay higher wages to staff holding a current food safety certificate. Although respondents considered that closure of the establishment was the most serious business consequence of a breakdown in safe food handling, less than half (49%) were prepared to pay an additional insurance premium to cover this risk. All food handling workers should be encouraged to obtain and maintain a current food safety certificate. Environmental health officers who inspect ready-to-eat food establishments play an important role in guiding and assisting owners and staff in improving food handling standards.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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