National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

Evaluation of a Local Health Department’s Food Handler Training Program


The impact of a food handler training (FHT) program was measured by comparing rates of total and critical violations from routine inspections of food service establishments before (2001–2004) and after (2005–2007) the implementation of an FHT program. A quasiexperimental design compared rates of inspection violations related and unrelated to the responsibilities of food handlers. A subset analysis focused on establishments in business for the entire time period. Violation rates decreased for total and critical food handler–related violations and in practically all individual categories of food handler–related violations. The rate of control violations, however, decreased even more (e.g., critical violations decreased by 4.9% in the food handler group and 24.7% in the control group). Results were similar in the subset analyses. Compared to the control group, no measurable benefit was seen from the FHT program. Improved training through the use of multiple teaching methods and process and qualitative evaluations are recommended.

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