Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 260

TABLE 1. Demographics and food safety knowledge survey scores of previously certified
food handler participants (cont.)
Q.6) Are you a manager /
supervisor?
Q.7) Is English your first
language?
Q.8) Have you received
any formal training in
food preparation (e.g.,
chef training or culinary
school)?
Q.9) How many years
have passed since
obtaining your most
recent food handler
certification?

Yes
No
N/A
Yes
No
N/A
Yes
No

63 (32)
113 (57)
21 (11)
152 (77)
44 (22)
1 (0.5)
57 (29)
135 (69)

24.3 (90)
23.5 (87)
22.5 (83)
24.0 (89)
23.6 (87)

8.0
8.0
7.7
11.0
9.1
8.5

N/A

5 (2.5)

-

-

≥ 1 and < 3
≥ 3 and < 5
≥5
Prefer not to answer

168 (85)
14 (7.1)
8 (4.1)
7 (3.6)

23.7 (88)
24.3 (90)
23.5 (87)
-

8.7
7.7
12.4
-

(99%). The questions with the lowest number of correct
answers pertained to the time frame to reheat food to the
original internal cooking temperature (57%), the correct
method to manually wash dishes (62%), and sanitary food
storage (62%) (Table 2).
Results from univariable logistic regression models of
associations between demographic variables and participants'
food safety knowledge scores are shown in Table 3, while
Table 4 shows the results of the final multivariable model.
Those who had lived in Canada for ≤ 5 years had lower
knowledge scores than those who had lived in Canada for
≥ 10 years (odds ratio [OR] = 0.68; P = 0.001). Knowledge
scores were higher among those who completed a college
or university degree, or a more advanced degree (e.g.,
graduate school), than among those who had completed
only some college or university education (OR = 1.32;
P = 0.006); however, there was no significant difference
in scores between those who had completed a bachelor's
degree or higher and those who had completed high
school or had less education. Those who had worked in
the food service industry for ≥ 10 years had significantly
higher knowledge scores than those who had worked in
the industry for 1 to < 5 years (OR = 1.37; P < 0.001), but
their scores did not significantly differ from those who had
worked in the industry for < 1 year or for 5 to < 10 years.
In the multivariable model, the effect of gender was found to
be borderline significant (OR = 1.20; P = 0.058), with males
tending to have higher knowledge scores than females. Gender
was included in the final model as it was believed to be a
confounder, and its inclusion improved model fit. No significant
variable interactions were identified in the final model (Table 4).

260

Food Protection Trends July/August

DISCUSSION
Food handlers who lack sufficient food safely knowledge
may make errors while handling food, leading to possible
outbreaks of foodborne illness. In a study focusing on
foodborne illness outbreaks in which food handlers were
found to be the cause of illness, some of the most common
causes of outbreaks were temperature abuse, inadequate
cleaning and sanitizing of utensils and equipment,
and improper food storage (27), which is similar to
topics of questions participants in this study answered
incorrectly. In this study, food handler participants had
difficulty with questions in regard to the time to reheat a
potentially hazardous food item back to its original cooking
temperature, the correct method to wash dishes and utensils
manually, and sanitary food storage. A lack of knowledge
on these topics may show incomplete comprehension, or
knowledge loss, provided these topics were covered in their
initial food safety courses.
Despite being aware of proper probe thermometer use
to determine internal cooking temperatures, participants
scored only 57% on question 15, which asked the length of
time necessary to reheat a food item to the original internal cooking temperature (Table 2). Food items should not
remain in the temperature "danger zone," the range between
4°C and 60°C where pathogenic microorganisms that cause
foodborne illness grow the best, for more than two hours;
otherwise, the food would be considered temperature
abused (4). It is possible that foodborne illness pathogens
can multiply to levels that can cause illness if food items
are reheated back to the original cooking temperature over
a time frame of greater than 2 hours (13). The cellular



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017

Contents
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - Cover1
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - Cover2
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - Contents
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 234
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 235
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 236
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 237
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 238
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 239
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 240
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 241
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Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 243
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Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 245
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 246
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 247
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Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 259
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 260
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - 261
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Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - Cover3
Food Protection Trends - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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