Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of current food safety trainings on the food handling behaviors of student volunteers and to determine if there are additional training needs for this audience.
Methods: Observations were conducted with students volunteering at each level of the program (food diversion, delivery, and cooking shifts); their self-reported safe food handling practices were recorded via online survey to determine consistency with their observed behaviors.
Results: Volunteers, regardless of their level of training, were observed engaging in unsafe food handling behaviors. Those who participated in formalized food safety training were more aware of their behaviors. Students believed they would benefit from additional training, which should be developed for their continuing education.
Significance: With growing interest in food reclamation and access, practicing safe food handling is a key need for these programs. This study highlights gaps in food safety training for this specific food handler audience.