MT4: Food Safety

Framework Component

Changes – Nutrition-Related Behavioral Changes

Indicator Description

Changes in individual and group behaviors that reflect MyPlate principles and are on the pathway to achieving the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.

Background and Context

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Healthy People 2020 prioritize personal food safety practices, including washing hands and surfaces often, avoiding cross-contamination, cooking to proper temperatures, and refrigerating foods promptly. Indicator MT4 measures food safety practices reported by participants before and after participation in a series of nutrition education classes. Poor food safety and personal hygiene practices contributes to food waste, spoilage, and the risk of foodborne illnesses. MT4 builds upon ST4 by assessing whether participants are making the behavioral changes they intended.

Outcome Measures

The number or percentage of participants reporting a food safety practice at home during the period assessed, the frequency, and the type of practice:

MT4a. Clean: wash hands and surfaces often
MT4b. Separate: don’t cross-contaminate
MT4c. Cook: cook to proper temperatures
MT4d: Chill: refrigerate promptly

What to Measure

SNAP-Ed participants who increased one or more of the targeted food safety outcome behaviors during the period assessed. Choose at least one outcome measure from the list provided.

Land-grant Institutions that conduct Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) classes, as well as other Implementing Agencies measuring food safety practices, may find it practical and cost-effective to use the same EFNEP food safety questions in SNAP-Ed. Evaluators are also encouraged to measure the degree of correlation among the individual measures presented in this indicator.

Population

Older adults, adults, adolescents, children, preschoolers and toddlers (via parents or child care providers)

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

ADULTS

http://townsendlab.ucdavis.edu/

  • Meat and dairy: I let them sit out for more than 2 hours. [MT4d]
  • Responses: no, sometimes, often, very often, almost always
  • I thaw frozen foods at room temperature. [MT4d]
  • Responses: no, sometimes, often, very often, almost always

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/ConsumerBehaviorResearch/UCM407008.pdf

  • Before you begin preparing food, how often do you wash your hands with soap? [MT4a]
  • Responses: all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, rarely
  • After handling raw meat or chicken, do you usually continue cooking, or do you first rinse your hands with water, or wipe them, or wash them with soap? [MT4a]
  • Responses: continue cooking, rinse or wipe hands, wash with soap, don’t handle raw meat or chicken
  • After you have used a cutting board or other surface for cutting raw meat or chicken, do you use it as it is for other food to be eaten raw for the same meal, or do you first rinse it, or wipe it, or wash it with soap? [MT4b]
  • Responses: use as it is, rinse or wipe it, wash with soap, wash with bleach/disinfectant, use a different board, don’t cut raw meat or poultry
  • Thinking of your usual habits over the past year, when you prepare the following foods, how often do you use a thermometer? Roasts, or other large pieces of meat—how often do you use a thermometer when you cook roasts? [MT4c]
  • Responses: always, often, sometimes, never, never cook the food

CHILDREN & YOUTH

https://www2.ag.purdue.edu/programs/hhs/efnep/Pages/Resource-Evaluation.aspx

  • I wash my hands before making something to eat. [MT4a]
  • Responses: almost never, sometimes, most of the time, always

https://www2.ag.purdue.edu/programs/hhs/efnep/Pages/Resource-Evaluation.aspx

  • How often do you wash your hands before eating? Think about eating at school or at home. [MT4a]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always
  • How often do you wash vegetables and fruits before eating them? [MT4a]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always
  • When you take foods out of the refrigerator, how often do you put them back within 2 hours? [MT4d]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always

https://www2.ag.purdue.edu/programs/hhs/efnep/Pages/Resource-Evaluation.aspx

  • How often do you wash your hands before eating? Think about preparing snacks or meals. [MT4a]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always
  • How often do you wash vegetables and fruits before eating them? [MT4a]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always
  • When you take foods out of the refrigerator, how often do you put them back within 2 hours? [MT4d]
  • Responses: never, once in a while, sometimes, most of the time, always

Additional evaluation tools to measure MT4 can be found in the SNAP-Ed Library.

Key Glossary Terms

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

Visit the Fight BAC! Partnership for Food Safety Education – http://www.fightbac.org/

Wardlow et al. 2012. EFNEP Behavior Checklist Review. Available from https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/Behavior%20Checklist%20Review.pdf