Journal Article

Physicians as Food-Safety Educators: A Practices and Perceptions Survey

Stephanie Wong, Ruthanne Marcus, Marguerite Hawkins, Sue Shallow, Katherine G. McCombs, Ellen Swanson, Bridget Anderson, Beletshachew Shiferaw, Robb Garman, Kristen Noonan and Thomas Van Gilder

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue Supplement_3, pages S212-S218
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/381589
Physicians as Food-Safety Educators: A Practices and Perceptions Survey

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An estimated 4 million bacterial foodborne illnesses occur in the United States annually. Many of these illnesses can be prevented by educating the public about food-safety practices. We investigated both the role of physicians as food-safety educators and the barriers to providing food-safety information. Participants were randomly selected physicians (n = 3117) practicing within the surveillance area of the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network; 1100 were included in the study. Although only 331 (30%) of 1110 respondents provided food-safety information to their patients, 524 (68%) of 769 who did not provide information expressed interest in doing so. Physicians were more likely to provide food-safety information to patients if they perceived foodborne disease to be a serious problem, perceived food-safety education as their role, felt that patients perceived them as a valuable resource for food-safety advice, or felt comfortable making food-safety recommendations. A national physician education campaign that addresses barriers in food-safety education could improve food-safety education by physicians.

Journal Article.  3322 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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