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Development and Evaluation of Science-Based Messages to Improve Consumers' Storage, Handling, and Preparation of Poultry and Poultry Product

Investigators
Ricketts, John C; Nahashon, Samuel; Kilonzo-Nthenge, Agnes; Godwin, Sandria; Chen, Fur-Chi; Chambers, Edgar; Chambers, Delores; Cates, Sheryl C
Institutions
Tennessee State University
Start date
2012
End date
2014
Objective

The long-term goal of this project is to reduce illnesses from Salmonella and Campylobacter by improving consumer storage, handling, and preparation of raw poultry and poultry products. We will achieve this through integration of five objectives:

1)Characterize consumers purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs and their awareness and understanding of existing food safety messages.

2)Assess and prioritize the risk of contamination or cross-contamination from purchase or in-home storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs.

3)Develop and test science-based and consumer-focused messages identified in Objectives 1 and 2 and educational programs on safe purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs.

4)Evaluate messages and educational programs to assess the impact on improving consumers' purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs.

5)Enhance student experiential learning opportunities through participation in food microbiology assessments and consumer studies.

The proposed study will yield a multifaceted educational program for youth and adults. The educational curriculum and/or other print resources will be designed so that other food safety educators can easily use them. The curriculum will be downloadable from the Web site and also made available on a DVD for those with limited Internet access. additional project products will include social media functions and mobile applications. Each of these products will be online so data concerning outcomes will be quantifiable. Quantifiable outcomes include numbers for Web site/applications visitors, initial and change scores for participants' knowledge and self-efficacy regarding poultry food safety, curriculum completion documentation for those who participate in the online training (those who finish all modules can receive a printable certificate of "Poultry Food Safety"), and extensive knowledge about the effectiveness of innovations associated with the project. Long-term outcomes include an increased consumer knowledge and use of recommended storage, handling and preparation practices for poultry products and eggs, which will ultimately result in a reduction in foodborne illness due to consumers' improved handling, storage, and preparation of poultry products and eggs.

More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
Consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness from Salmonella and Campylobacter infection by safely purchasing, storing, handling, and preparing poultry products and eggs. This project develops and evaluates research-based, consumer friendly, web-enhanced educational materials, including a mobile game application, to educate consumers on practices to reduce their risk of foodborne illness from poultry products and eggs. We will begin our project by conducting focus groups and a nationally representative web-enabled survey to characterize consumer practices and awareness and understanding of existing food safety messages. This research will be supplemented by observational and laboratory-based studies to address gaps in the scientific literature, including studies to describe shopping behavior and home storage practices and the risk of cross-contamination, assess the risk of extended consumer storage of fresh and liquid eggs, and determine temperatures of current consumer cooking practices of poultry products and eggs. We will use this research to systematically identify risky practices and their prevalence and to develop science-based, consumer-focused, impactful messages addressing these practices. An educational intervention comprising a Web site, game, and curricula for extension personnel will be developed, tested and refined. An iterative process will be used to develop the intervention, including multiple rounds of consumer testing and the use of conjoint analysis. We will disseminate the intervention and conduct an impact evaluation using a pre/post randomized controlled design to assess the effectiveness of the intervention at improving food safety behaviors. Consumers' increased adoption of recommended practices ultimately will lead to a reduction in foodborne illness from the handling and consumption of poultry and egg products.

APPROACH:
We will begin our study by conducting qualitative and quantitative research to characterize consumers' storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs and their awareness and understanding of existing food safety messages. This research, along with observational and laboratory-based studies to address gaps in the literature, will be used to identify risky practices and to develop science-based and consumer-focused messages addressing these practices. We will develop, test, and refine an educational intervention comprising an educational Web site, game, and curricula for extension personnel. We will disseminate the intervention and conduct an impact evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the intervention at improving consumers' food safety behaviors.

PROGRESS: 2012/08 TO 2013/07
Target Audience: Forty-eight consumers who (1)were 18 years of age or older, (2) prepared dinner at least three times a week, (3) and had used raw poultry and/or raw ground poultry and eggs (not as an ingredient) in the past month were targeted for the focus groups.The groups included 27 female participants, and 21 male participants. Five participants have a high school education or less, 19 participants have some college education, 17 participants have a 4-year college degree, and four participants have a post-graduate degree. Three participants are Asian; 10 participants are African American, non-Hispanic; three participant are African American, Hispanic; 29 participants are White, non-Hispanic; two participant are White, Hispanic; and one participant is multiracial, non-Hispanic.Two hundred forty-two individuals living in Kansas and Tennessee, who were 18 years and older, were the primary shopper or shared responsibility for shopping, and had a refrigerator in their home were targeted for the in-person consumer surveys. The participants were 65% Caucasian/white, 16% African descent, 11% Spanish descent, and 8% Other. Twenty-six percent were males and 74 % were females. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? A graduate student has been trained in microbiological evaluation of eggs over time. A research assistant has been trained on detection of meat juice as an indicator of cross contamination. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Nothing Reported What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? We will be completing the whole egg innoculation storage study, the liquid egg innoculation storage study, the consumer shopping behavior study and the web-enabled consumer practices survey. We willconduct the poultry package potential contamination study, develop the web-site format, conduct the consumer coking study, and the package contamination study. Articles will be published from the focus group and the in-person consumer survey results.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
TENX-2011-06512
Accession number
229055
Categories
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Commodities
Eggs
Meat, Poultry, Game