Evaluating the Impact of Food Safety Training: A Look at the Self-Analysis for Food Excellence Program


Understanding basic food safety is essential to preparing and serving safe food. The Self-Analysis for Food Excellence (SAFE) program was developed to promote food safety and improve restaurant sanitation scores in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. SAFE is a food safety training program emphasizing high-risk food practices from receiving to service. The program was offered to restaurants that had performed poorly on routine food service inspections. Restaurant management and key personnel were encouraged to participate in SAFE.

To assess the effectiveness of SAFE, we compared participating restaurants to nonparticipating restaurants with similar food service inspection performance during 2009–2010 in Nashville and Davidson County. We evaluated and analyzed inspectional observations before and after SAFE training. While both groups improved their food safety inspection performance, no statistically significant differences regarding critical violations were noted between restaurants that participated in the SAFE program and restaurants that did not. This study, however, does not account for regulatory impact or other variables that could provide more clarity in the results of food safety training.


Speaker / Author: 
Danny Ripley, Metro Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County
Caleb Wiedeman, MPH, Tennessee Department of Health
Craig Shepherd, MPH, REHS/RS, DAAS, Tennessee Department of Health
Douglas J. Irving, MPH, Tennessee Department of Health
Month Year: 
April 2021
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
April 2021
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