Food Safety News | Winter 2019

Consumer Food Safety Studies Help Us Learn What We’re Doing (And What We Can Do Better!)

A special message from Stanley Rutledge, Community Coordinator

Dear Friend,

Did you know there are a plethora of studies out there that take a close look at consumer food handling in the home?

Well, these studies abound and they’re truly fascinating.

One reason?

While many people are well-intentioned when it comes to their attitudes concerning food safety, observational studies reveal that consumers’ actual food hygiene behaviors at home don’t always match up.

And that helps underscore an important truth:

You and I and all our fellow consumers


need to step up our food safety game!




Now, there are MANY studies we can read about and take action on. To keep things simple, I’m going to focus on one critical food safety behavior covered in a study you can find here.

That behavior is HAND WASHING.

Although this topic is one we’ve covered extensively, it continues to be a significant challenge in helping to keep the food we eat safe. From the study:

“In many instances, hands were not washed or the techniques used were inadequate. A surprisingly large number did not wash their hands before beginning meal preparation, and even more did not wash hands after handling raw meat packaging and trash.”

This is definitely concerning.

Hand washing is such a simple, effective practice to help guard against the perils of a potentially deadly foodborne illness—and it’s one we can resolve to improve right now so easily!

So, in the spirit of helping you move toward positive change in this new year, we urge you to make PROPER HAND WASHING your ONGOING RESOLUTION for 2019. Check out “Good Hand Hygiene: A Simple Way to Protect Yourself and Others from Foodborne Illness” to learn why this is so important and exactly how to wash your hands in the most effective way.

Or, if you’re someone who’s already at the top of their hand washing game, please pick a different new habit for changing a food safety behavior from our list of resolutions here.

Curious to learn more?

You can do a Google search on “consumer food safety studies” or click on a few links/articles here we’ve found to be helpful and interesting:

Consumer Food Handling in the Home: A Review of Food Safety Studies (Journal of Food Protection)

Consumer Research on Foodborne Illness (US Food and Drug Administration)

Problems, Perspectives, and Proposed Solutions (Partnership for Food Safety Education)

Good Consumer Practices are Necessary (Food Safety Magazine)

So, what do you think? Are you surprised by the findings in these studies? Do you have a thought, concern, or suggestion you’d like to share with me? Please be in touch! I’d love to hear your feedback. You can email me anytime at

Your friend in food safety,


Stanley Rutledge

Community Coordinator


PS: We would so appreciate you sharing this article with your Facebook friends! Thanks in advance for helping us spread the food safety word.


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