Development, Dissemination, and Preimplementation Evaluation of Food Safety Educational Materials for Secondary Education

Authors

  • Adrienne E.H. Shearer,

    1. Authors are with Dept. of Animal and Food Sciences, Univ. of Delaware, 044 Townsend Hall, 531 South College Ave., Newark, DE 19716-2150, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Kniel (E-mail: kniel@udel.edu).
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  • O. Sue Snider,

    1. Authors are with Dept. of Animal and Food Sciences, Univ. of Delaware, 044 Townsend Hall, 531 South College Ave., Newark, DE 19716-2150, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Kniel (E-mail: kniel@udel.edu).
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  • Kalmia E. Kniel

    1. Authors are with Dept. of Animal and Food Sciences, Univ. of Delaware, 044 Townsend Hall, 531 South College Ave., Newark, DE 19716-2150, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Kniel (E-mail: kniel@udel.edu).
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Abstract

Abstract:  With the persistence of microbiological foodborne illness and anticipated future shortage of scientists with agricultural and food science expertise in the United States, it is imperative to educate youth on microbiological food safety and enhance their awareness of opportunities to become engaged in finding solutions to food safety challenges. To help integrate food science education across the high school curriculum, new educational materials on microbiological food safety were developed and then disseminated to and evaluated by educators of secondary basic and applied sciences. The materials present food safety concepts in the context of foodborne illness outbreaks to introduce basic concepts of food microbiology, epidemiology, and food safety strategies as well as their broad impact on economics, communication, and regulations. The ready-to-implement educational materials support educational content standards and various learning styles and encourage critical thinking skills. The materials include a presentation on food microbiology and foodborne illness surveillance, case studies on foodborne illness outbreaks, a video on the laboratory investigation of foodborne illness, interactive web-based activities, and supporting materials for teachers and classroom display. Exposure to the materials in a 1-d workshop positively impacted educator familiarity with general microbiology, food safety strategies, regulatory requirements, and associated terminology as measured by a test administered prior to and after use of the materials. Teachers of biology, chemistry, family and consumer sciences, and related sciences rated the materials favorably on applicability, anticipated ease of implementation, and anticipated reception by students.

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