248281 Examining safe food handling knowledge and practices among minority consumers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shauna Henley, MS , Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer J. Quinlan, PhD , College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Susan Stein, PhD , Culture & Communications, College of Arts & Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Abstract: Racial/ethnic minority populations may experience unique risks for foodborne illness. This research attempted to identify unique practices which might represent an increased risk for foodborne illness. Focus groups were conducted with the target audiences at community centers in Philadelphia, PA. Separate focus groups were conducted with African American and Asian consumers. Information was gathered on the thought and action processes of respondent's preparation of meals containing poultry, pork, eggs, and tofu. The question route design was based on USDA-FSIS, CDC, and FDA consumer food safety recommendations. Results indicated that meat thermometers were rarely used to determine if foods were at a safe internal temperature to consume (160-165F). Leftovers were often heated until warm or eaten cold. Inadequately reheating of leftovers can allow for foodborne pathogens to survive and remain a food safety risk. Almost all focus group participants reported washing of poultry products prior to cooking, despite the fact that current recommendations for safe food handling include not washing meat or poultry products. Preparing food the way they were taught in the home appeared to dictate food handling procedures to a greater extent than government recommendations. Participants expressed that they had appropriate knowledge of proper cleaning/sanitation steps and practiced them regularly. The most unique food safety risk observed for these populations when compared to general surveys was that the extended time period utilizing public transportation for food shopping may provide an opportunity for extended holding of potentially hazardous foods unrefrigerated.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Identify unique practices representing an increased risk for foodborne illness.

Keywords: Food Safety, Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: BS-Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA MS-Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 1st year PhD student in Biology at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA Worked as a Food microbiology Tech, and current research is investigating racial/ethnic minority populations and unique risks for foodborne illness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.