Evaluating food safety training programs
A recently released report from Lloyd’s Register Foundation seeks to analyse the impact of training on the safety of food. To do this, the report assessed a variety of different food safety training programs and checked whether they had any impact on the reduction of foodborne illness. The report also looked at different programs from different cultures and social settings.
The report, entitled ‘The impact of skills and education interventions on food safety outcomes’, reached a number of important conclusions that could be used to inform training programs going forward.
For instance, it was found that food safety training programs are not adequately monitored and evaluated to assess whether they are effective. The report in fact found that there was zero peer reviewed literature being used to back up claims made by food safety programs.
With regards to varying social and cultural settings, the report recommended utilising current knowledge to define and develop practical guidance. This is of particular importance for low- to middle-income countries, where it is often difficult to utilise food safety programs due to lack of infrastructure, a presence of poverty and low levels of literacy. These are factors that would need to be addressed for foodborne illnesses to be reduced through the use of training programs.
Improving the training programs available is likely to be a key way in which illness and deaths due to contamination of food can be reduced. As is, hundreds of thousands of people die annually from foodborne disease that is wholly preventable. That number includes 125,000 children aged under five.
The full report and an executive summary can be found on the Lloyd’s Register Foundation site.
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