Knowledge, Attitudes, and Implementation of Food Safety Practices among Small Food Businesses Operating at Shared-Use Kitchens
A survey was designed and conducted to measure knowledge of, attitudes toward, and implementation of food safety practices among food manufacturers operating at shared-use processing facilities in the northeastern United States (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.). The survey was distributed online and through the mail. Survey responses were analyzed using SPSS software, and significance was reported at < 0.05. Knowledge item categories included general food safety (6 questions), prerequisite programs (12 questions), and hazard analysis and preventive controls (14 questions). Although respondents ( = 47) had an overall correct knowledge score of 82 ± 10, they scored below the 80% mastery threshold for the category of hazard analysis and preventive controls at 77 ± 15. The overall attitude score, based on a 5-point Likert scale, was 4.8 ± 0.3, reflecting a positive attitude toward food safety practices related to food processing. Respondents who received ongoing food safety-related training had higher ( < 0.05) self-confidence in conducting food safety-related activities, indicating the importance of ongoing training. Although overall knowledge was satisfactory, the below-mastery score in food safety requirements demonstrated the need for targeted training that would prepare audiences for regulatory compliance.
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