For Your Health, Food Safety Begins at Home
For Your Health, Food Safety Begins at Home is a five lesson curriculum designed to teach consumers about safe food handling at home. The following is the introduction to this training curriculum. To access the entire complete curriculum download the Adobe Acrobat PDF file.
Older adults are at an increased risk for foodborne illness. Small doses of harmful microorganisms can make them very ill and could even result in death. The goal of this program is to teach older adults how they can reduce their risk for foodborne illness.
PROGRAM SUMMARY AND TARGET AUDIENCE
For Your Health, Food Safety Begins at Home has been designed to teach older adults how to safely prepare their own meals. Older adults are an appropriate audience for food safety education because they have health and social characteristics placing them at a greater risk for foodborne illness than does the adult population in general.
The program consists of four sessions, and each takes approximately 60 - 90 minutes depending on the number of activities used. Each session has a short information-sharing component, two or more activities, take-home handouts, and one or more take-home tips. It is intended to be delivered in a group setting rather than to individuals. The format lends itself to short meetings that you organize or that already exist. The For Your Health, Food Safety Begins at Home curriculum consists of this guide, which contains all of the print materials that you need to carry out the four sessions.
PLANNING YOUR PROGRAM
Solicit help from other sources to plan your program. For example, contact:
SETTING, DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATIONS
Each session focuses on one of the Fight BAC!TM messages -- Clean, Separate, Cook, or Chill. The delivery format can be four consecutive sessions of 60 - 90 minutes, depending on the number of activities used each, two consecutive sessions of 2-3 hours each, or one 4-6 hour session. Make your decision based on your audience and the availability of the program site. Times and locations are issues that are important. Give people a list of session topics, dates, times, and locations to prevent confusion.
Also consider space requirements for each of the sessions. If participants are asked to perform a small group activity or watch a demonstration, consider the space and equipment you will need for the session, such as a room with tables and adequate display space. Try to ensure that the program site is comfortable, easy to access, and quiet. Also, consider how accessible it is to those who might have physical impairments.
Preparing the program announcement is important. It should stress the benefits to be gained by program participants. Design the announcement so that it looks inviting and helpful. A sample program announcement is included at the end of this section.
Here are some potential locations for recruiting older adults. Recruitment of participants should be done after discussion with the manager or coordinator of the organization or by posting a program announcement at sites which older persons frequent.
Set up a system for registering participants. The system may consist of a printed roster on which people can add their names or you may want to have participants call in to your office to register. Once registered, send a reminder to attend card or call the registrants. Solicit volunteers to help recruit, register, and remind participants.
PREPARING FOR THE LESSONS
Ideally, all four sessions should be taught. Food safety is a complex topic and individuals need to understand all of the controls that they have to prevent foodborne illness. Foodborne illness can occur by the application of only one unsafe food handling practices.
It is important to always begin with Session 1 -- CLEAN: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often. One of the activities within this session is the administration of the risk assessment instrument -- Are You at Risk for Foodborne Illness? The authors believe that increasing an individual's awareness of his/her risk for foodborne illness is the first step in a successful food safety education program. It is hypothesized that if an individual perceives that he/she is at a greater risk for foodborne illness, he/she will be more likely to adopt safe food handling practices. Therefore, when conducting this program always begin with Session 1. This session along with the Fight BAC!® messages is the foundation of this four-session program. After completion of Session 1, the remaining sessions can be taught in any order.
PRESENTING THE SESSIONS
The session description is designed to give you a plan to follow. It includes information about the time needed, materials needed, background information, and a recommended way to conduct the session.
Conducting the Sessions:
Factors that can affect educational approaches with older adults:
Thus, utilize the following teaching strategies when working with older adults:
Take a little time at the end of the program to distribute certificates to the participants. This is a way to congratulate the participants for their attention and interest in learning new information.
If you have any questions or comments concerning the curriculum or the information presented, please contact Dr. Angela Fraser by e-mail at [email protected].
Supplemental handouts to deliver curriculum