ABSTRACT

This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the holiday food safety campaign, “The Story of Your Dinner,” launched in 2016 by the Partnership for Food Safety Education. The campaign was designed to change knowledge, risk perception, and perceived behavioral control ideas among U.S. consumers. Results from the study, conducted from 2016 through 2018, were analyzed overall and among specific demographic groups. For respondents from all 3 years, overall knowledge significantly increased from presurvey to postsurvey. Survey findings indicated that after viewing the educational intervention, adult respondents were significantly more confident in their ability to use a food thermometer while cooking small cuts of meat and poultry and developed a significantly higher perception of the risk of suffering from foodborne illness. The educational intervention was more effective for changing risk perception and perceived behavioral control among some demographic groups. Respondent risk perception and perceived behavioral control significantly increased in more categories for adolescents than for adults. Consumers tended to overestimate their safe food handling practices. Prior to the educational intervention, adult respondents rated themselves highly (5.49 ± 1.64 of 7.00) on their confidence in cooking meat and poultry that is safe to eat. However, these respondents were less comfortable complying with the safe food handling practice of using a thermometer on small (4.47 ± 1.98) and large (4.61 ± 2.02) cuts of meat and poultry. More educational interventions are needed to improve compliance with safe food handling in home kitchens. Future studies will be conducted to identify and address barriers to food safety behavioral change among various population groups.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • A food safety educational video was effective for both adults and adolescents.

  • The influence of this video campaign differed across demographic groups.

  • Knowledge change was not directly associated with behavioral and attitude change.

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