Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management


Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Anirudh Naig


Outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated fresh produce are on the rise. Most fresh produce is delivered to consumers without any processing and is consumed raw, which increases the risk of foodborne illness. Many college students lack food safety knowledge, which makes them likely targets for contracting or transmitting foodborne illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess the produce handling attitudes, practices, beliefs, and knowledge among college students while specifically exploring the differences in produce handling between home and the workplace. College students at least 18 years or older who had foodservice work experience participated in this study. Seven hundred eighty-one usable questionnaires (7.1% response rate) were collected at a large university in the Midwest. Results of this study indicated that college students are knowledgeable about produce handling in terms of cleaning and preparing fresh produce. However, only one-quarter of participants (n = 204, 26.1%) were knowledgeable about the recommended duration for handwashing. College students said they do believe that food poisoning can affect their health but most did not believe fresh produce could cause food poisoning. Overall, the participants had higher scores for produce-handling attitudes and practices at work than at home. There is a need for produce safety training for college students that results in improved safe produce handling not only at work but also at home.


Copyright Owner

Boya Luo



File Format


File Size

76 pages