Leading, Promoting and Advocating for Environmental Public Health Professionals in Ontario

Events & Conferences

Seminar: “I don’t lose any sleep over it”: Understanding the barriers and facilitators to consumer safe food handling.

Registration is open for the next CIPHI Ontario seminar, which takes place on November 9 at 12pm to 1pm at 661 University Ave.

"Foodborne illness has substantial health and economic impacts on society. Most cases of foodborne illness are associated with exposure to contaminated food at home compared to other settings (e.g. restaurants). Previous studies have found that most consumers do not follow several recommended safe food handling practices at home, likely contributing to this illness burden. This presentation will discuss the results of a systematic review of qualitative research studies to determine the underlying facilitators and barriers affecting consumers’ adoption and maintenance of safe food handling behaviours at home. A structured and transparent approach was used to identify relevant literature, assess the quality of articles, extract relevant results, and synthesize key themes. We identified 21 barriers and 10 facilitators to safe food handling from 37 studies; these were grouped across six thematic areas: confidence and perceived risk; knowledge-behaviour gap; habits and heuristics; practical and lifestyle constraints; food preferences; and societal and social influences. Our overall confidence that each barrier and facilitator represents the phenomenon of interest was rated as high (n=11), moderate (11), and low (9). Overarching findings included: 1) safe food handling behaviours occur as part of a complex interaction of everyday consumer practices and habituation; 2) most consumers are not concerned about food safety and are generally not motivated to change their behaviours based on new knowledge about food safety risks; and 3) social pressure has a consistent impact on consumers’ willingness change their safe food handling habits. Key implications and recommendations for public health inspectors and future research, policy and practice will be discussed."

You can find more and register for the seminar at his link.



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is the official Ontario branch of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.

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