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A Step Towards Improving Food Safety in India: Determining Baseline Knowledge and Behaviors Among Restaurant Food Handlers in Chennai

With the establishment of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and new food safety regulations, a precedent has been set to prevent foodborne illness in India. The objective of the authors’ study was to identify knowledge gaps among food handlers in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to establish priorities for future intervention. A 44-question survey was administered to 156 food handlers at 36 restaurants in Chennai between April and June of 2011. The overall mean knowledge score was 49% and knowledge gaps related to hand hygiene, proper food cooking and holding temperatures, and cross contamination were identified. Food handlers with a Medical Fitness Certificate scored significantly higher than those without a certificate, after controlling for food safety training and level of education (p < .05). As the FSSAI standards now require a medical certificate for restaurant licensure and registration, consideration should be given to include an educational component to this certification with an explanation of expected food safety behavior.

Speaker / Author: 
Mindi R. Manes
Paraswami Kuganantham
Murugesan Jagadeesan
M. Laxmidevi
Mark S. Dworkin
Month Year: 
January 2016
Volume#: 
78.6
Page #: 
18-25
Publication Month: 
January/February 2016
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