• Journal Article

Effectiveness of educational interventions to improve food safety practices among older adults

Citation

Kosa, K., Cates, S., Godwin, S. L., Ball, M., & Harrison, R. E. (2011). Effectiveness of educational interventions to improve food safety practices among older adults. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 30(4), 369-383. DOI: 10.1080/21551197.2011.623943

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of using Web-based and print materials for improving food safety practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illness among older adults. The study used a randomized controlled design, with participants assigned to an intervention group or control group. Although we observed small improvements in both groups, the difference in the changes between the two groups was nonsignificant, suggesting the educational materials did not impact participant behavior. We did, however, observe a trend improvement in one measure: the recommendation to avoid eating cold (not reheated) deli meats. The lack of program impact may be attributable to limitations of the evaluation (e.g., measurement effects) or the intervention (e.g., lack of personal contact). Based on the survey findings, improvements in older adults' food safety practices regarding reheating deli meats to steaming hot and cooking eggs until the yolks and whites are firm are needed. The current study and previous research suggest that current cohorts of older adults may be more receptive to print materials than Web-based materials. To improve retention and adoption of recommended food safety practices among older adults, future educational interventions should focus on a limited number of practices and combine print materials with personal contact