Food Safety Practices Assessment Tool: An Innovative Way to Test Food Safety Skills among Individuals with Special Needs
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
© 2012 Institute of Food Technologists®
Journal of Food Science Education
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 7–16, January 2013
How to Cite
Carbone, E. T., Scarpati, S. E. and Pivarnik, L. F. (2013), Food Safety Practices Assessment Tool: An Innovative Way to Test Food Safety Skills among Individuals with Special Needs. Journal of Food Science Education, 12: 7–16. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4329.2012.00161.x
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
- MS 20120551 Submitted 4/16/2012, Accepted 9/18/2012.
Abstract: This article describes an innovative assessment tool designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a food safety skills curriculum for learners receiving special education services. As schools respond to the increased demand for training students with special needs about food safety, the need for effective curricula and tools is also increasing. A Food Safety Education for High School and Transition Special Needs Students curriculum served as the basis upon which our assessment tool was developed. The project was a collaborative effort by food safety and education professionals in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This USDA-funded initiative emerged from teacher-generated data that identified critical gaps in food safety knowledge and skills among students with disabilities (SWD) receiving special education services. As an adjunct to this curriculum, a Food Safety Practices Assessment Tool was developed to: 1) conduct observations of students as they demonstrate food safety practices, and 2) use this information to design classroom-based learning activities that are aligned with students’ Individual Education Plans (IEP). Pilot data suggest that the tool is valid and reliable for use in a kitchen-based setting. This is the first known tool of its kind to test food safety skills of individuals with special needs in a real-world environment. Further testing is needed to determine the usefulness of the tool for broader audiences.