Publisher : Veterinærhøyskolen
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 978-82-7725-257-5
Publication type : Doctoral dissertation
Supervised by : Langsrud, Solveig
Number of pages : 155
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Foodborne illness constitutes a significant burden both socially and economically on the society and their health systems and food safety is therefore becoming increasingly important. Billions are invested in food safety and much research is conducted on how to improve the safety of foods in all steps in the food production chain from production on the farm to manufacturing, distribution and retailing, but the last link in the food production chain – the consumer step - is still less understood. The food risk situation in Norway is not comparable with other European countries or the United States. The Norwegian population has so far been spared for problems with Salmonella spp., and there is reason to believe that Norwegian consumers thus have overall poorer kitchen hygiene and less knowledge of food safety. The aim with this thesis was therefore to increase our knowledge of Norwegian consumers’ food handling practices in the domestic environment and to investigate the importance of these practices with respect to the risk of acquiring foodborne illness. Collection of data on Norwegian consumers’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding food safety were done with the aid of two surveys and a case study of consumer food handling practices and subsequent temperature exposure. Two laboratory experiments were conducted investigating growth and survival of foodborne pathogens simulating two common consumer food handling practices; Ready-To-Eat (RTE) foods taken out and in of the refrigerator, and cooking of hamburgers. A foods safety questionnaire based on HACCP methodology was developed and a risk-based grading system for food safety was adapted to the survey. This constituted a tool for grading various food handling practices from their inherent risk of causing foodborne illness. This system was also used to identify demographic characteristics of Norwegian consumers associated with critical food handling practices.