A qualitative exploration of the perceptions and information needs of public health inspectors responsible for food safety

Pham, Mai T.; Jones, Andria Q.; Sargeant, Jan M.; Marshall, Barbara J.; Dewey, Catherine E.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10, p345
Academic Journal
Background: In Ontario, local public health inspectors play an important frontline role in protecting the public from foodborne illness. This study was an in-depth exploration of public health inspectors' perceptions of the key food safety issues in public health, and their opinions and needs with regards to food safety information resources. Methods: Four focus group discussions were conducted with public health inspectors from the Central West region of Ontario, Canada during June and July, 2008. A questioning route was used to standardize qualitative data collection. Audio recordings of sessions were transcribed verbatim and data-driven content analysis was performed. Results: A total of 23 public health inspectors participated in four focus group discussions. Five themes emerged as key food safety issues: time-temperature abuse, inadequate handwashing, cross-contamination, the lack of food safety knowledge by food handlers and food premise operators, and the lack of food safety information and knowledge about specialty foods (i.e., foods from different cultures). In general, participants reported confidence with their current knowledge of food safety issues and foodborne pathogens. Participants highlighted the need for a central source for food safety information, access to up-to-date food safety information, resources in different languages, and additional food safety information on specialty foods. Conclusions: The information gathered from these focus groups can provide a basis for the development of resources that will meet the specific needs of public health inspectors involved in protecting and promoting food safety.


Related Articles

  • Foodborne Illness Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals.  // Nutrition in Clinical Care;Oct-Dec2004, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p134 

    Foodborne illness is a serious public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that every year, 76 million Americans get sick, leading to over 300,000 hospitalizations and 5000 deaths. Recent outbreaks underscore Americans' vulnerability...

  • Estimating the burden of food-borne illness in Canada. Thomas, MK; Murray, R. // Canada Communicable Disease Report;Aug2014, Vol. 40 Issue 14, p299 

    The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that each year about 1 in 8 Canadians (4 million people) get sick from the food they eat. Four pathogens cause about 90% of the 1.6 million illnesses caused by known pathogens: Norovirus (1 million cases), Clostridium perfringens (177,000 cases),...

  • Effectiveness of Different Disinfectants Used in the Food Production Facility on Selected Foodborne Pathogens. Misirli, Füsun; Aydin, Ali // Kafkas Universitesi Veteriner Fakultesi Dergisi;2011 Supplement, Vol. 17, pS167 

    Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli are particularly important pathogens for public health and are considered as indicators in the processes used by the food production plants. ın this study, four diff erent types of commercial disinfectants (chlorine-based...

  • A Real-Time PCR Assay for the Detection of Salmonella in a Wide Variety of Food and Food-Animal Matrices. Bohaychuk, V. M.; Gensler, G. E.; McFall, M. E.; King, R. K.; Renter, D. G. // Journal of Food Protection;May2007, Vol. 70 Issue 5, p1080 

    Conventional culture methods have traditionally been considered the "gold standards" for the isolation and identification of foodborne pathogens. However, culture methods are labor-intensive and time-consuming. We have developed a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Salmonella in a variety...

  • Dispelling the Myth of "Superbugs" on Meat Products.  // National Hog Farmer Expert Blog;12/ 5/2013, p2 

    The article discusses the release of the Meat MythCrusher video by the American Meat Institute (AMI) that disperses any antibiotic-resistant bacteria commonly found on meat and poultry products. It states that the video features an interview with professor of microbiology and food safety at...

  • Lack of Information Is the Root of U.S. Foodborne Illness Risk. Roberts, Tanya // Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm & Resource Issues;2013 2nd Quarter, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p1 

    The article discusses the lack of information about food safety which is a serious problem for preventing and treating acute foodborne illness caused by pathogens. It provides several options to improve information on pathogens in the U.S. food supply chain such as expanded financial support of...

  • Orange Alert. Hise, Phaedra // Vegetarian Times;Apr2004, Issue 320, p79 

    Discusses the risks of foodborne illness that comes from organic farm products. Information on a report conducted by the U.S. Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention about foodborne illness; List of common foodborne illnesses. INSETS: Sprout Lovers, Take Note;If You Think You Have a...

  • Foodborne Illness Acquired in the United States--Unspecified Agents. Scallan, Elaine; Griffin, Patricia M.; Angulo, Frederick J.; Tauxe, Robert V.; Hoekstra, Robert M. // Emerging Infectious Diseases;Jan2011, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p16 

    Each year, 31 major known pathogens acquired in the United States caused an estimated 9.4 million episodes of foodborne illness. Additional episodes of illness were caused by unspecified agents, including known agents with insufficient data to estimate agent-specific illness, known agents not...

  • Raising the bar. Salvage, Bryan // National Provisioner;Aug2004, Vol. 215 Issue 8, p62 

    Improving food safety requires a continuous improvement mindset and a "take-action" attitude from link in the meat chain, from feed lot to packing to the consumer. Although victories are being tallied against a variety of common foodborne diseases, more to be done. Foodborne pathogens are...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics