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SNHD Food Safety Culture


Project Summary/Abstract Food safety has previously been declared a Winnable Battle by the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention and a priority area for the Healthy People 2020Initiative. Recent research proposes that negative food safety culture be considered anemerging risk factor for foodborne illness due to its significant impact in outbreaks(Griffith, Livesey, & Clayton, 2010a). Investigating food safety culture and how toimprove it at the retail food establishment level may be one important route to reducingfoodborne illness. The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) plans to conduct a mixed methodssequential study to better understand and improve food safety culture. The specific aimswill be to 1) utilize focus groups and surveys to solicit data directly from retail foodhandlers and management, 2) use study findings to create resources for retail foodestablishments to improve their food safety culture, which may improve adherence tofood safety practices, thereby potentially reducing the transmission of foodborne illnessat the retail food establishment level, and 3) disseminate findings to promote awarenessof positive food safety culture and share improvement strategies. First, SNHD will conduct multiple preliminary focus groups with food handlersand separate focus groups with restaurant management. The goal of these will beidentify examples of positive food safety culture, obstacles impeding positive food safetyculture, and suggestions for ways to improve food safety culture. SNHD will conduct athematic analysis on the focus group data to identify common themes. Then, SNHD willuse this data to create a quantitative survey which will be distributed more broadly tofood handlers and management within Southern Nevada to further understand foodsafety culture. Finally, SNHD will use the cumulative findings to create resources thatwill provide actionable suggestions for retail food establishments to improve food safetyculture, which may improve food safety and reduce illness. The style and type ofresource will depend on the findings, but SNHD is prepared to create infographics, aseries of workshops, and a webinar. Additionally, SNHD will work to disseminatefindings to promote the project to the food safety and environmental health communitiesvia conferences, presentations, the SNHD website, and/or other available avenues.

Diprete, Lauren; Saxton, Chris
Southern Nevada Health District
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