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Can J Public Health. 1998 May-Jun;89(3):197-202.

Effectiveness of public health interventions in food safety: a systematic review.

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Toronto Public Health Department, North York Office, ON.



To summarize evidence on the effectiveness of public health interventions regarding food safety at restaurants, institutions, homes and other community-based settings.


This systematic review of published and unpublished studies involved a comprehensive literature search, screening for relevance, quality assessment of relevant studies, data extraction and synthesis.


The interventions identified in 15 studies included in this review were grouped into three categories: inspections, food handler training, and community-based education. The evidence suggests that: routine inspection (at least once per year) of food service premises is effective in reducing the risk of foodborne illness; food handler training can improve the knowledge and practices of food handlers; and selected community-based education programs can increase public knowledge of food safety.


There is some evidence for the effectiveness of multiple public health interventions on food safety. Future research needs include evaluation of HACCP and community-based education programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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