Comparison of Knowledge and Attitudes Using Computer-based and Face-to-Face Personal Hygiene Training Methods in Food Processing Facilities


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ABSTRACT: Computer-based training is increasingly favored by food companies for training workers due to convenience, self-pacing ability, and ease of use. The objectives of this study were to determine if personal hygiene training, offered through a computer-based method, is as effective as a face-to-face method in knowledge acquisition and improved attitude toward food safety. Employees from four food processing facilities (n= 94) were randomly assigned to a control group, a face-to-face training group, or a computer-based training group. Evaluation instruments consisted of a pretest and a posttest to measure knowledge gain, a step scale to measure attitude after training and retrospectively before training, and a brief set of interview questions. Results for both treatments and the control group indicated increases in knowledge. Analysis of the posttest scores, when controlling for the pretest scores, indicated the difference was significant (P≤ 0.05); however, post hoc analysis did not indicate which treatment was superior. There was a significant increase in attitude scores for both groups using paired t-tests, although the difference between groups was not significant when controlling for attitude scores before training. Issues that may limit application of the technology used in this study include low literacy and language barriers among employees, and time constraints within companies. These and other variables should be taken into account in future research studies addressing comparisons of training methods. This study is the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of computer-based training aimed at food handlers who work in food processing establishments.