This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Analyzing Food Safety Cultures: A Means to Improve Food Safety in the Catering Sector




Ghezzi, Sara

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


Food safety is one of the most pertinent issues in the food service industry. Food borne illness and food poisoning can be lethal and can destroy the reputation of a catering establishment. A review of the literature points out that even though catering employees may have been formally trained with a certificate of completion, they still may not routinely practice the appropriate food safety measures and practices. More research and studies need to be conducted to survey just how widespread the neglect of proper food safety malpractices are occurring, and what kinds of remedies can be provided to make the catering service a safer food service for the consumer. This study aimed at assessing the knowledge and practices of employees in the catering industry. A quantitative approach was utilized in this study. A questionnaire was presented to 557 respondents, representing over 40 chapters in the National Association of Catering Executives. The questionnaire was divided into three sections of food safety and included the following: Food Handling, Equipment, and Personal Hygiene. Questions asked about knowledge and the frequency of certain tasks and practices. This study analyzes descriptive, t-tests and ANOVA statistics to find differences between gender, training, management status, and employment status with regard to knowledge and practices. Results suggested that employees in the catering industry who work part-time need more training and development. Management was seen as more knowledgeable than non-management personnel and was seen to have more training. Overall the study found that there is a need to focus on training for employees, with ! iii! even greater emphasis for new employees. The study also found that management in the catering sector needs to focus on food safety training for part-time employees. All areas need improvement and continued research needs to focus on exactly why catering servers do not perform certain tasks related to food safety.