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.
ABSTRACT Temperature control prevents the rapid growth of foodborne pathogens during food storage and assures adequate heating to destroy pathogens prior to consumption. The use of thermometers is a recognized best practice among consumer and food worker guidelines; however, compliance with this recommendation is quite low. Eighty-five studies from the past 21 years were reviewed and an analyzed for the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors associated with thermometer use and the motivators and barriers to cooking and refrigerator thermometer use among consumers and food workers. Barriers to thermometer were categorized into two major groups: “the belief that a thermometer is not necessary” and “the difficulty of selecting and using a thermometer.” Each group has its unique aspects. Four barriers were recognized in the “not necessary” group: (i) preference for alternative techniques, (ii) mainstream media and food professionals seldom serve as role models and often negate the need for food thermometers, (iii) limited awareness of potential health issues associated with current practices, and (iv) limited knowledge and awareness related to thermometer usage for specific food groups. Six barriers were recognized in the “difficult to select and use” group: (i) difficulties in selecting the type of food thermometers, (ii) availability of food thermometers, (iii) lack of skills related to the usage of food thermometers, (iv) limited knowledge related to endpoint temperatures, (v) inability to calibrate food thermometers, and (vi) lack of knowledge about food thermometer cleaning and sanitation. These findings will facilitate the development and adoption of effective strategies to increase thermometer use and increase food safety education efficacy with a positive impact on public health.