Spanish speaking workers are the largest population group employed by the food service industry in the U. S., but there are very few educational programs that address their unique needs for effective learning of food safety best practices. Less than 10% of Spanish speaking restaurant workers have received formal food safety training. A $600,000 National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Grant was awarded for September 2009 – August 2014 in Minnesota. The ultimate goal of this collaborative research and Extension outreach grant was to significantly enhance food safety best practices by Spanish speaking food service workers using comprehensive educational approaches. These efforts involved design and delivery of hands-on, food safety training in Spanish, at multiple levels in food service establishments and classrooms. The project reached over 1,350 food workers through 62 on-site restaurant trainings, 25 community meetings and 18 ServSafe® certified food manager and food worker 4-part course series. Overall, 85% of participants made positive gains from pre-program to post-program. Participants made statistically significant improvement in hand washing; gloves, tongs or deli sheet use, to minimize bare-hand contact of ready-to-eat foods; cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces. The grant project involved University of Minnesota Food Science and Nutrition research, Extension food safety outreach and program evaluation, in collaboration with local Health Departments.
Peterson-Vangsness, Glenyce; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco; Buzo de Diez, Claudia.
Development of an Integrated Multi-Level Food Safety Training Program for Spanish-Speaking Food Service Workers.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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