ST4: Food Safety

Framework Component

Readiness & Capacity – Goals and Intentions

Indicator Description

Individual intention and goals that serve as motivators to food safety behavior changes recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Background and Context

The 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 ST4 measures participants’ goals and intentions to change one or more food safety practices resulting from a lesson taught in a single workshop or as part of an education series. SNAP-Ed and EFNEP curricula, such as Eating Smart * Being Active and Plan, Shop, Save, Cook, include content focused on food safety and personal hygiene practices.

Outcome Measures

The number or percentage of participants intending to change one or more food safety practices at home:

ST4a. Clean: wash hands and surfaces often
ST4b. Separate: don’t cross-contaminate
ST4c. Cook: cook to proper temperatures
ST4d. Chill: refrigerate promptly

What to Measure

SNAP-Ed participants who indicate an intent to change or set behavior change goals related to one or more food safety practices. Choose at least one outcome measure from the list provided, and select a measurement approach based on the type of survey questions and responses. The example surveys and sample questions listed below are for matched pre- and post-test outcome measurements of intention and goals by age group. Some surveys, such as intent, can be used to measure post-test only responses of intent (model after University of California CalFresh Nutrition Education intent surveys).


Older adults, adults, high school students and transitional aged youth, middle school students

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

Which of the following food safety practices do you intend to do at home?

  1. Wash hands, cutting board, and knives after using them to prepare raw chicken, meat, or fish. [ST4a]
  2. Prepare raw foods separately from other foods. [ST4b]
  3. Cook ground beef or meat loaf until it is no longer pink. [ST4c]
  4. Use a food thermometer to check if meat and chicken is completely cooked. [ST4c]
  5. Refrigerate meat and dairy within 2 hours of shopping. [ST4d]

Choose one of three statements: [ST4a]

  • I do not consider hand hygiene practices to be important for health (scored as pre-contemplation)
  • I agree that hand hygiene behavior is very important for health, and although I do not currently practice it well now, I will in the near future (contemplation and preparation)
  • I realize that hand hygiene behavior is very important for health, and I have been practicing it for at least six months (maintenance).

(Kim, et al., 2012)

Key Glossary Terms

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations