Progress 10/01/06 to 12/31/09
OUTPUTS: During the period covered in this report, a questionnaire developed and pre-tested earlier was administered to respondents in Tennessee. Seventy useable surveys were collected and analyzed. Poster Presentation and oral presentations were made at the Professional Agricultural Workers Conferences in Tuskegee, Alabama, the Food Distribution Research Society meetings in Broomfield Colorado and Tennessee State University-wide Annual Symposium. Specific titles of presentation include: Ekanem, Enefiok, Mary Mafuyai-Ekanem, Fisseha Tegegne and Surendra Singh. 2009. Opportunities and Related Issues for Food Safety Research in Tennessee. A paper presented at the 67th Professional Agricultural Workers Conference held at Tuskegee University, Alabama, December 6 - 8. Ekanem, E., M. Mafuyai-Ekanem, F. Tegegne and S. Singh. 2009. An Assessment of Consumer Food Safety Concerns and Safe Handling Training Needs in Tennessee. A Research Report presented at the Food Distribution Research Society Meeting held in Broomfield, Colorado, October 31-November 4. E. Ekanem, M. Mafuyai-Ekanem, F. Tegegne and S. Singh. 2009. Pathogens in our Foods: Why Imports Matter. A Poster presented at the 31st Annual University-Wide Research Day, Tennessee State University. March 31 - April 3. Collaborated with colleagues at Tennessee State University, the Economic Research Search Service and the Tennessee Department of Health were enhanced through the implementation of this project. Overall costs of foodborne illnesses in the United States were communicated to audiences in the professional meetings attended. Project activities provided participants with skills for identifying food safety issues, training needs, safe food handling techniques, modification or behavioral changes in food preparations, hygiene, cooking, handling, storing and labeling in Tennessee. Target audiences included consumers, restaurant workers, students, food safety professionals and other interested in safe food handling. PARTICIPANTS: E. Ekanem (PI) F. Tegegne (colleague) and S. Singh (colleague) provided input to developed survey. Partners: Economic Research Service, Nashville Farmers Market, (Market Manager), Tennessee Department of Health, selected restaurant managers and workers. Students: Brittany Brown, graduate student assisted with data collection. Sophia Evans, undergraduate student, was involved in survey administration. Andrea Rusell, undergraduate student, assisted with data coding, entry and analysis. Aditya Tella, graduate student conducted literature search and data and analysis. Isaac Liyatu, graduate student, assisted with data entry and analysis. Mary Mafuyai Ekanem, agricultural economist, (volunteer) provided input in questionnaire design, coding, data analysis, assisted with literature review, developed power point materials and made presentations at professional meeting and conference. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences included consumers, restuarant workers, students, food safety professionals and other interested in safe food handling. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Presentations made at professional meetings in Alabama, Colorado and Tennessee disseminated information and increased knowledge of approximately 600 consumers, farmers, students, food safety workers and other professionals' knowledge.
Students were recruited and trained in the use of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to input and analyze data. In addition to training in use of spread sheets (Excel 2007) students acquired skills in using Microsoft PowerPoint to develop presentations and posters for professional meetings. The questionnaire was developed and administered face to face to respondents. Seventy useable surveys were collected and analyzed. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Results showed that food safety was an important issue in Tennessee. Approximately 53.6% were non-white while 46.4% whites. In terms of marital status 52.9% were married, 38.6% never married, 4.3% divorced, 2.9% separated and 1.4% widowed. In terms of gross household income 75% of the respondents had a gross annual household income of $49,000 or less and 26.5% had $50,000 or more. Education wise, 2.9% of study participants had less than high school education, 14.3% earned a high school diploma or GED, 22.9% had trade, vocational school, some college, or associate degree, 24.3% had bachelor's degree and 35.7% held graduate or post graduate degrees. TN survey respondents were most concerned with becoming sick from eating unsafe foods, keeping food safe, good hygiene for food handlers, contamination of food from E coli and other bacteria. While 66.7% of the respondents considered the issue of food safety very important, 46.3% considered it important, 7.1% considered it somewhat important and 2.9% did not respond. Of the survey participants responding to the question of job responsibility, 8.6% indicated that they worked in cooking, 2.9% in serving, 4.3% in keeping kitchen and dining areas clean and 42.9% work in other areas of restaurant business. When asked whether or not TN restaurants and other food service workers received adequate training in handling food, 28.4% said yes, 35.7% no and 41.4% said they did not know. Consequently, 21.4 % of respondents indicated that they were very interested in food safety training, 45.7 % were interested and 22.9 said they were somewhat interested. Only 7.1 % of the respondents said that they were not interested in food safety training. Presentations and disseminated information at campus seminars, small farms expo, research symposium, professional meetings in Alabama, Colorado, Ohio, and Tennessee increased food safety knowledge of approximately 600 consumers, farmers, students, restaurant workers, managers, marketers and other professionals.
- Ekanem, E.,Mafuyai-Ekanem, M.,Tegegne, F. and Singh, S.P. 2009. Pathogens in Our Foods: Why Imports Matter. A Poster presented at the 31st Annual University Wide Research Symposium, Tennessee State University. March 31 to April 3. Abstract available at http://www.tnstate.edu/research/media/2009RspSymProg.pdf.