Development and Pilot Testing of a Food Safety Curriculum for Managers and Staff of Residential Childcare Institutions (RCCIs)


  • Previous affiliations at time work was completed: Nyachuba, Dept. of Nutrition, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9282, U.S.A. Couto, Nutrition and Food Sciences Dept., Univ. of Rhode Island, 530 Liberty Lane, West Kingston, RI 02892, U.S.A. Hagan, Food Science Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts, Chenoweth Laboratory, Room 236, Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Breau, Kids First, Providence, RI 02906, U.S.A.


Food safety training materials, targeted for residential childcare institution (RCCI) staff of facilities of 20 residents or less, were developed, piloted, and evaluated. The goal was to assist in the implementation of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based food safety plan as required by Food and Nutrition Service/United States Department of Agriculture. RCCI staff and instructor training manuals, Food Safety Basics: Food Safety Education for RCCIs was developed and pilot tested in RCCIs in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The program was evaluated by participants and pre-/posttraining onsite inspector and microbial assessments. The core curriculum contained 3 modules and corresponding activities: Module 1: cause, prevention, and strategies to reduce foodborne illness; Module 2: components of a HACCP-based food safety plan and standard operating procedures; and Module 3: actual food safety plan development, including instructions for implementation and corresponding monitoring procedures required. There were 50 to 82 RCCI staff members that attended 2 or 3 modules. Participants rated the modules 4.5 ± 0.4, 4.3 ± 0.4, and 4.4 ± 0.4 out of 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree) for teaching modules 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The evaluations assessed their understanding of key topic areas taught. Onsite inspections showed improvement in many critical food safety issues. Some deficiencies still appeared to be problematic, such as refrigerator temperature monitoring and issues with storage and cross-contamination.