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Food Safety Education Makes The Difference: Food Safety Perceptions, Knowledge, Attitudes And Practices Among Turkish University Students

Sibel Ozilgen
Published 2010 · Medicine

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This study evaluated the influence of food safety education on the food safety perceptions, knowledge, attitudes, and practices among Turkish university students. Structured questionnaires were applied to 275 students majoring in “health or food” and 570 students majoring in “non-health or non-food” on a face-to-face basis. Food has positive connotations since associated primarily with taste and hunger in both groups. Freshness of the food product was the most important factor for the “health or food major” group, which was stated as quality for the “non-health or non-food major” group, when shopping for food (p < 0.05). Food poisoning was the main risk associated with foods in the “health or food major” group whereas fats was the most popular choice for the same question in the other group (p < 0.05). Positive influence of food safety education was clear from the results since a significant difference existed between the mean scores of knowledge, attitudes, and practices according to major discipline (p < 0.05). However, persistent food safety attitudes and practices showed little improvement with education. Although a significant difference existed between the disciplines, students in both groups did not have knowledge on the risk of raw white cheese consumption (p < 0.0001). High number of students shared their bowls with other people, consumed raw eggs and raw meat, and ate cooked foods left at room temperature more than 6 h if covered. Scientists and doctors were more trusted sources of information about serious food risks (p < 0.05). Trust in governmental agencies was significantly less in both groups.
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