A cross-sectional survey study exploring knowledge, attitudes and food safety practices of UK mothers in the domestic environment.

  • Amal Ibrahim
Keywords: Food safety, Domestic, mothers, Foodborne illness, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice


Food safety is a public health concern. Domestic environments are the first site where foodborne infections emerge as a result of inadequate personal and/or environmental cleanliness, resulting in an elevated risk of infection. The aim of this study is to explore the knowledge attitudes and food safety practices of UK mothers in the domestic environment. The topic domestic food safety if often neglected, there is limited literature about it and if domestic food safety is discussed then usually it covers foodborne illness and their types and not regarding the knowledge, attitude and food safety practice of food handlers at homes which are usually mothers.  A survey design was adopted using anonymous questionnaire administrated online. Questionnaire was designed using JISC. Fifty-five participants responded to a link posted on Mumsnet the largest parent network in the UK. The questionnaire was divided into three sections including food safety knowledge, attitudes and practice. Results were analysed and interpreted using Microsoft Excel using graphs and tables also, an online calculator was used to run Chi Squared test for comparison.  Results showed that participants of this study had a good knowledge regarding food safety with total average of 4.96 out of 6, while showing no link between level of education and average of knowledge. Adding to that, participants also had a good level of food safety attitudes but with some limitations. Food safety practice is what participants lacked the most as most responses where to unsafe practices that could result in foodborne illnesses. According to the Chi Squared test done on one of the practices sections the result was not statistically significant as the chi-square statistic was 3.39. Food safety is a global public health issue that can have an impact on people around the world which needs to be addressed. A large percentage of it being caused by behaviours in the home kitchen. Food safety is a burden in the UK and has a direct effect on economy. There is no law to be applied for domestic food safety however, there is some advice out there by international organizations that can reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses at home by ensuring food is safe. Also, more domestic food safety research should be conducted and especially in the UK to fill the gap and to try to understand mother’s domestic food safety handling to be able to plan a proper awareness plan and interventions.