Validating a Food Safety Instrument: Measuring Food Safety Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Employees

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Food safety management poses a continual challenge for the commercial food service industry. Deficiencies in employee food safety knowledge and poor attitudes toward the importance of food safety can result in practices that increase the risk of foodborne illness. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to assess and compare the food safety knowledge and attitudes of employees in fine dining and quick service restaurants; and, (2) to validate a measurement instrument used in prior research about food safety management. In this study, quick service restaurant employees had a lower composite score on their overall knowledge test than did fine dining employees. In addition, a significant difference between the two groups was found in their knowledge and attitudes toward the critical control points of cooling and reheating. However, significant differences between the two groups in the other three areas (cross-contamination, home practice and safe handling practice) were not found. The results of this study are potentially useful for researchers and managers involved with food safety training.