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Abstract

Previous studies have reported on the inadequacy of youth knowledge and practice of food safety principles. The formal high school science classroom environment presents an opportunity to stimulate interest and increase knowledge in food safety with potential benefits to students in improved science literacy, development of life skills, and greater awareness of career opportunities. Previously developed educational materials, Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations for Food Safety Education, were evaluated for instruction by high school and community college science educators of various subject matters including foods, microbiology, disease, and chemistry courses. Educator feedback was favorable on measures of quality, implementation ease, and student engagement, with ratings greater than 3 on a 5-point scale corresponding to “good” to “excellent.” A positive change in familiarity with food safety concepts for 4 groups of students, representing approximately 77% of the participants, was demonstrated by an overall increase, ranging from 4% to 14%, in correct responses to a test administered before and after exposure to the materials. There was variation in degree of change and the topics positively impacted for student groups by subject matter.