Influence of food safety training on grocery store employees’ performance of food handling practices

Andrea Rowell, Margaret Binkley, Christine Alvarado, Leslie Thompson, Scott Burris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Food safety training is a method utilized by retail food stores to provide their managers with needed knowledge on how to prevent food borne illnesses, applying Hazard Control Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, and help in understanding the requirements of the FDA Food Code as well as state and local food safety policies. For food safety training to be effective, employee behavior must be assessed following training in order to reduce the risks of foodborne illness. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of manager training and how this training impacted the grocery stores' performance related to hot/cold self-serve bars. Three grocery store chains were recruited and each chain selected 15 stores to be observed pre- and post-training during set-up, lunch, and tear-down of the bars. After the pre-training observation, managers from eight stores per chain attended a food safety training course (training group), while managers from the remaining seven stores received no additional training (control group). Following the training, all stores were observed to collect post-training data. The information from the observations indicated that the training did not cause a significant change in store performance for a majority of the observed categories. Many state policies only call for training and certification of managers in retail food service establishments. This study showed that it may be time for these policies to be changed to include employee training and certification as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalFood Policy
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Employee behavior
  • Employee knowledge
  • Food safety
  • Training


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