Determinants of Interest in Food-Safety Training: A Logistic Regression Approach
Training in food safety and safe food handling has become critical in recent years as a result of the millions of Americans who are sickened or hospitalized as a result of consuming unsafe food. Food-safety issues have consequently become of utmost importance to consumers, processors, and other food handlers in general. The increasing number of recalls of contaminated food suggests also that there is a continued need to do all that is economically feasible to protect the food system. Despite the importance of food safety, few studies have assessed the need for food safety and/or safe food handling by consumers. These authors are not aware of any studies that have assessed interest in food safety training in Tennessee. A major objective of this paper is to investigate the factors that determine interest in food safety training in Tennessee.In summer 2009, a face-to-face interview of Tennessee consumers was used to assess knowledge, concerns, and training needs for Tennessee consumers. Data were collected from participants in a one-day Small Farm Expo in middle Tennessee. A 21-item questionnaire was used to collect the information presented in this paper. The paper examines issues identified as being of the greatest concern to consumers and identifies factors influencing interest in food-safety training. A logistic regression model was formulated and estimated using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Policy implications were drawn from results generated from data analyzed. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research.
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