A comparison of perspectives about the critical areas of knowledge for safe food handling in food establishments

R. H. Linton, D. Z. McSwane, C. D. Woodley

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    4 Scopus citations


    An advisory committee representing food scientists, food safety professionals, and psychometricians was formed to identify areas of knowledge in food safety and sanitation that are critical for food establishments such as food retail, food service, and food vending. The advisory committee worked with personnel from local and state regulatory agencies to determine food safety competencies and skills needed for individuals working in these types of food operations. An inventory of knowledge areas and tasks was created and then reviewed by food safety experts nationwide. Knowledge areas were categorized into five main groups: 1) food; 2) cleaning, sanitizing, and maintenance; 3) facilities; 4) food personnel; and 5) legal and regulatory issues. The most important tasks identified within these knowledge areas were ensuring food protection, preparing foods, and monitoring personal behaviors related to food safety. A detailed list of competencies in food safety knowledge and related tasks, in which the items are ranked by importance, will help in the development of education and training resources and certification examinations for food handlers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)8-15
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Environmental Health
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Apr 1 1998

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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