PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate future food handlers’ practices during practical lessons close to the end of their formal vocational education, and to record teachers’ behaviour and to evaluate classrooms that were intended for practical lessons.Design/methodology/approachA total of 90 students between 17 and 19 years of age, 12 teachers, and 12 training classrooms intended for practical lessons, which were divided into six observation sessions in the field of catering and six observation sessions in the field of food processing (bakery, confectionery, and butchery), were observed.FindingsBoth proper and inappropriate food-handling practices were observed among teachers and students. Comparing the hygienic-technical conditions of the training classrooms with teachers’ and students’ behaviour revealed several interconnected situations increasing the risk of food contamination during the production process.Research limitations/implicationsData were collected by one observer who was not part of the class. The sample size was small, limiting the generalisability of the results.Practical implicationsThe results indicate the weaknesses in the formal vocational education of future professional food handlers.Social implicationsGood food safety practices among food handlers reduce societal costs related to health-care systems and food industry economic losses.Originality/valueThe study provides an insight into the education and training of future professional food handlers in a controlled environment in educational institutions.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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