Purpose – To assess knowledge, perceptions and practices of grassroots‐level food safety regulators. Design/methodology/approach – Knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) study using quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Quantitative data was collected using a pre‐tested knowledge assessment questionnaire. Qualitative data was collected by conducting a focus group discussion (FGD) and six in‐depth interviews among food safety regulators from all 23 districts of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS package (version 14.5). The FGD and in‐depth interviews' recordings were transcribed verbatim and translated into English before compiling them into individual reports. These reports were read independently by a group of researchers before inferences were drawn. Findings – The respondents' knowledge on basic food microbiology was limited. They attributed their inability to monitor all cases of food poisoning/adulteration to delay in receiving information and lack of laboratory facilities. They had sound knowledge of conventional adulterations, but were not equipped to check newer adulterations. Their knowledge on health/nutrition claims on food labels is almost nil. Orientation towards food safety issues other than adulteration is the need of the hour. Originality/value – The results of the study can serve as the basis for developing an in‐service training module for food safety regulators.
Nutrition & Food Science – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 28, 2008
Keywords: Food safety; Regulation; India
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