What are catering staff’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding preventing food borne illness?

  • Steven Daniels
Keywords: Food-borne illness, work-based training, knowledge, attitudes, practices


Food borne illness costs the UK’s economy £1 billion annually and continues to grow each year. Despite the substantial impacts this has on public health; the food industry lacks regulation and control around food-borne illness.  The aim of this research was to determine catering staff’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding preventing food borne illness with a view to identifying gaps in training that need addressing. An online convenience survey was completed by people aged 18+ years within the catering trade who had a recognised catering qualification. Participants were recruited via social media from various Facebook catering groups.  Results highlighted that attitudes and practices around food-borne illness are of an adequate level and that knowledge is being conveyed through workplace training. However, the knowledge gathered from   work-based learning needs improving, to reduce the ever-growing impact of food-borne illness on the public, employers and employees. Workplace training styles provided to caterers and lack of enforcement from local authorities on what knowledge must be included in training regarding food-borne illness are the main problems resulting in the lack of awareness of food-borne illness. Recommendations include the need to change work-based training to classroom-based qualification which would require updating frequently and a law requiring this qualification before handling any foods. The need to have a set local authority enforced work-based training throughout all food business is also recommended. This would require the aid of government, food standards agency and food businesses.