Food safety practices and HACCP implementation: perceptions of registered dietitians and dietary managers.J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Nov; 104(11):1692-9.JA
Assess perceptions of consultant registered dietitians (RDs) and dietary managers about food safety practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation in assisted-living and long-term care facilities for the elderly.
A mail questionnaire was developed using a modified Delphi process. Respondents were asked to assess food safety concerns in facilities where employed, identify prerequisite programs, rate barriers to implementation of HACCP, and provide demographic information.
The survey was sent to a random sample from national membership in the American Dietetic Association's Consultant Dietitians in Health Care Facilities dietetic practice group (n=1,181) and to all dietary managers who listed assisted living as their employment location as part of membership in the national Dietary Managers Association (n=274).
STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED
Descriptive statistics were calculated for each questionnaire item for all respondents. Factor analyses and t test comparisons of items and factors determined if significant differences existed between perceptions of RDs and dietary managers.
Both RDs and dietary managers identified employee knowledge and experience and food practices as food safety concerns. More than 80% of both RDs and dietary managers agreed that the majority of listed HACCP prerequisites were necessary. Respondents identified the greatest barriers to implementation of HACCP as those related to time.
Findings indicate a need to develop written policies for food safety, such as access to production areas. To minimize risk of foodborne illness to the elderly, barriers to implementation of HACCP should be addressed, including commitment of time and resources to develop systems, train employees, and retain employees.