Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Human Nutrition


Food Science and Technology

First Advisor

Angela M. Shaw


The United States population is aging, creating a higher number of people and proportion of the population at increased risk for foodborne illness. OA awareness and behavior when purchasing and preparing foods inside the home affects food safety risk in this population. A national trend in eating outside the home also places foodservice workers in a key role for interventions focused on foodborne disease prevention in OA. By targeting both OAs and foodservice workers, both projects in this thesis intend to reduce food safety risk in OAs by increasing familiarity and knowledge about food safety and food handling.

For the first project, three SMT-based online food safety mini-modules were created for and pilot-tested with community-dwelling OAs. The modules were developed based on a needs assessment of OAs. The mini-modules were effective in promoting familiarity with food safety behaviors and were well-received, supporting the development of future SMT-based online education in this target audience. For the second project, a minimal-text poster intervention was placed in 8 foodservice operations with sample collection before, 1 month after, and 3-4 months after the intervention. LG samples were taken at three stages of preparation. Samples were screened for Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157 and Staphylococcus aureus and enumerated for aerobic plate counts (APC), coliforms, and fecal coliform (FC) counts. All samples were negative for pathogens tested; APC and coliform counts were not significantly different before and after intervention (P <0.05). After intervention, FC counts in samples of LGs from hospitals and restaurants were significantly lower than before intervention (P < 0.0004). The reduction in FC after intervention suggests that minimal-text food safety posted messages may decrease food safety risk in foodservice establishments. Overall APC results combined with behavioral compliance results, however, suggest that further research and more education is needed to improve effectiveness of the intervention and improve food handling behavior in the participating sites.


Copyright Owner

Amber Lynn Roy



File Format


File Size

128 pages