Evaluation of College Student Food Safety Knowledge and Expectations of Food Service Inspections in North Carolina
Preventable foodborne diseases are a significant problem in the U.S. and 9.4 million illnesses per year are associated with contaminated food. For this study, 86 Western Carolina University students living on campus or in the state of North Carolina participated using a nonprobability, snowball sampling technique. We collected data using a Qualtrics survey regarding demographics, basic knowledge of food safety, and expectations of food service regulations. This study found that college students lack basic knowledge of food safety and have excessive expectations of the food service regulatory system. Food service operators and managers have the ultimate responsibility of providing a safe product to consumers, and the role of health officials is to promote prevention through consultation and education to employees and owners of food service facilities. Educating college students about the limitations of the food service regulatory system will allow for more informed decisions in the interest of their health and wellness.
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Speaker / Author:
Nathan McNeilly, MHS, REHS, Cleveland County Health Department
Brian Raming, PhD, NREMT-P, Western Carolina University