This project provided evidence-based educational programming to increase awareness of safe food handling practices and support positive behaviors changes. Nearly 700 residents participated in these trainings during the review period. Highlighted project outputs and outcomes include:
- Evaluation of educational programs to train professionals, volunteers, and teen leaders in safe food handling practices showed that 8% of participants completing retrospective surveys (n=623) increased their knowledge of food safety.
- Food safety workshop participants (n=68) assessed through paired pre- and post-assessments demonstrated a statistically significant increase in knowledge gained.
- In a collaborative research project with UCCE academics, we compared learning outcomes between online extension training platforms with in-person for the UCCE Make It Safe, Keep It Safe Our research validated that the methods produce similar outcomes, with no significant differences (participants had statistically significant knowledge gain after participating in both educational formats). Thus, we added to the knowledge base on modern/online extension methodology.
Impacts: These efforts contributed to the following condition changes: 1) improved food security and 2) improved food safety. The measured and anticipated outcomes associated with these efforts (documented in the Project Summary Table) (Note: Insert link to page) demonstrate knowledge and skills learned, which led to improved household food resource management practices and food safety practices Additionally, the measured outcomes demonstrated that educators and practitioners also gained new knowledge and skills, which led to system and environmental changes that reduced barriers to local healthy food incentive programs. Prior research documented observed behavior changes that reduced participants’ risk of food safety as a result of participating in the Make It Safe, Keep It Safe program (Peterson, 2008). Epidemiology data from San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department (2019) shows 30% reduction in reported cases of food borne illness between the year this project started in the County (n=131 in 2013) and the most recent data collected (n=92 in 2018). With this data, we can infer our project contributed to household food safety in the county and the state. Collectively these efforts contributed to the UC ANR public value: safeguarding sufficient, safe, and healthy food for all.