Food Safety Educational Intervention Positively Influences College Students’ Food Safety Attitudes, Beliefs, Knowledge, and Self-Reported Practices
In this study, the authors evaluated college students’ food safety attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and self-reported practices and explored whether these variables were positively influenced by educational intervention. Students (n = 59), were mostly seniors, health or non-health majors, and responsible for meal preparation. Subjects completed a food safety questionnaire (FSQ) prior to educational intervention, which consisted of three interactive modules. Subjects completed module pre-, post-, and post-posttests. The FSQ was also administered after exposure to intervention and five weeks later to determine changes in food safety attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and self-reported practices. Students’ FSQ attitude scores increased from 114 to 122 (p ≤ .001); FSQ belief and knowledge scores improved from 86 to 98 (p ≤ .001) and from 11 to 13 (p ≤ .001), respectively. Food safety knowledge was also measured by module pre- and posttests, and improved significantly after intervention for all students, with health majors having the greatest increase. Intervention resulted in improved food safety self-reported practices for health majors only. The educational intervention appeared effective in improving food safety beliefs and knowledge. For health majors, attitudes and some self-reported practices improved. For all areas, the strongest effects were seen in health majors.