P1-114 Assessment of Video Observation to Evaluate Hand Hygiene Practices of Food Handlers in Food and Drink Manufacturing and Processing Businesses:  A Feasibility Study

Monday, July 10, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Tampa Convention Center)
Ellen W. Evans , ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University , Cardiff , United Kingdom
Elizabeth C. Redmond , ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University , Cardiff , United Kingdom
Introduction: Food handler hand hygiene (HH) is a significant contributory factor to foodborne illness. HH is the most effective method for preventing cross-contamination. Although informative, food-safety cognitions are not indicative of actual practices and maybe subject to biases. Thus, observation of behaviour is required. During observations, researcher presence can increase reactivity, whereas video observation (VO) provides a more comprehensive analysis over a sustained period, where familiarity reduces reactivity. Previous VO research has assessed food-retail/catering food handler hygiene behaviours; however, this method of assessment has been under-utilized in food and drink manufacturing/processing business (FDMPB) environments.

Purpose: This investigation determined the feasibility of using VO to evaluate food handler HH practices in FDMPBs.

Methods: In-depth interviews with FDMPB managers/technical supervisors (n=11) identified HH protocols, training procedures, and acceptability of conducting VO to assess HH compliance. Twenty-four hours of footage was observed to evaluate HH compliance in a bakery. Detailed observations for HH opportunities were recorded, specifying hand decontamination component actions.

Results: FDMPBs had unique HH protocols with variable details. Interviews identified positive attitude towards using VO to assess HH compliance. Although FDMPBs had cameras recording activity, none had the resource/time to conduct frequent/structured observation of footage. Observational findings indicated that of 674 instances, when food handlers entered production, 70 failed to attempt HH practices. Of 604 attempts to implement HH practices, only 2% were compliant with FDMPB protocol. Although 78% utilized soap, only 45% wetted hands first. Less than half (42%) utilized sanitiser. Malpractices included drying hands on overalls (9%). HH duration ranged from 1s–69s (median 17s).

Significance: VO data provided an in-depth insight into HH compliance when entering production and, thus, illustrated a valuable and useful resource for FDMPBs. Extensive numbers of HH malpractices were observed that were contrary to FDMPB policy and may compromise food-safety during food production. The case study identified site-specific issues to inform the development of an intervention to improve HH practices.