Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University
Background: Food-borne illness resulting from cross-contamination in a restaurant setting represents a large public health burden. An estimated 76 million cases of food-borne illness occur each year in the United States , and contaminated raw chicken is commonly identified as a food-borne illness pathogen vehicle. Restaurants provide opportunities for instances of food-borne illness because large quantities of different foods are handled in the same kitchen. Failure to wash hands, utensils, or countertops can lead to contamination of foods that will not be cooked. Few data are available that describe the likelihood of cross-contamination in the restaurant setting, although such events may not be rare. Further attention to sources of food-handling practices for poultry and meat in restaurants is needed. The purpose of this study was to examine whether establishment characteristics are associated with cross-contamination prevention practices within restaurants. Methods: We performed a secondary analysis on data from the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) 2008 Chicken Handling Study. Using logistic regression, we assessed the potential for cross-contamination in association with specific kitchen manager food safety trainings and associated policies. Results: The unadjusted associations between manager responses to training questions and potential cross-contamination were .76, (CI .40-1.45). The associations became attenuated after adjusting for State and Menu Type to .87 (CI .39-1.96) in the multivariable model. The unadjusted associations between specific raw chicken training and potential cross-contamination were .63 (.40-.99). The associations became attenuated after adjusting for State and Menu Type to .74 (.43-1.25) in the multivariable model. The trends, while not significant, were found to be in the hypothesized direction for manager food safety training (OR= .87, CI .39-1.96) and specific raw chicken training (OR= .74, CI .43-1.25). Conclusion: While manager food safety training regulations vary by state, it may be beneficial to have similar policies concerning raw chicken preparation and food safety courses. State specific policies should be assessed to ensure safe food preparation practices among raw chicken despite geographical differences.
School of Medicine
Bakker, Hope L., "Factors associated with effective cross-contamination prevention in restaurants" (2009). Scholar Archive. 534.