ABSTRACT

Significant resources, including both human and financial capital, have been dedicated to developing and delivering food handler training programs to meet government and organizational mandates. Even with the plethora of food safety–oriented training programs, there is scant empirical evidence documenting effectiveness, suggesting the need to rethink the design and delivery of food safety training for food handlers. One underlying assumption of most training programs is that food handlers engage in unsafe practices because of lack of knowledge. As a result, many training curricula are designed to improve knowledge, assuming behavior will change as knowledge increases. However, food handlers often return to the work environment and try to implement the new knowledge with minimal success. One explanation for this is that the training context and the implementation context often differ, making it difficult for the food handler to transfer what they learned into practice. Understanding the connection between knowledge, the organization, and its environment is critical to knowledge implementation. The focus of this review is to describe a six-step knowledge-sharing model. Here, knowledge sharing is broadly defined as the process of creating and then using knowledge to change a practice or behavior. Our proposed knowledge-sharing model includes six steps: generation, adaptation, dissemination, reception, adoption, and implementation. We have organized this model into two dyads: (i) transfer between researcher (i.e., knowledge generators) and educator and (ii) transfer between educator and food handler (i.e., knowledge implementers). To put into practice this proposed model for developing and delivering effective food safety training for food handlers, we have provided suggested actions that can be performed within each step of the knowledge-sharing process.

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