Home food safety intervention for the Georgia olOlder Americans Act Nutrition Program
Sellers, Tiffany Carol
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an educational intervention on improving home food safety practices in congregate meal recipients in senior centers in northeast Georgia. A random sample of participants was selected from north Georgia senior centers (N = 136; mean age: 79 years; 74% female; 61% Caucasian; 39% African American). The study design was a pre-test, intervention, and post-test design. At the pre-test, variability in adherence to 16 home food safety practices was large and ranged from £ 17% for checking temperatures of the refrigerator and cooked meats to ³ 76% for other behaviors. Following the intervention, participants were more likely to wash their hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before eating (76% vs. 90%, P £ 0.01) and before preparing food (76% vs. 92%, P £ 0.01). In a series of regression analyses, younger age was the most consistent predictor of adherence to home food safety practices at the pre-test, and older age was the most consistent predictor of improvements in adherence after the intervention. As a first step, this intervention improved several aspects of home food safety practices; however, additional interventions that target the individual are needed to increase home food safety practices in older adults.