The Food Safety Infosheet website is designed and maintained by Dr. Benjamin Chapman and his team at North Carolina State University.  Food safety infosheets are passive, postable communication tools targeted at the food service industry (food handlers and business operators).  The infosheets are used to provide food safety risk-reduction information to generate behavior change.  The infosheets are based on four emotion-generating factors:

  • Storytelling: Storytelling is used to focus on the cases/outcomes of individual incidents.
  • Dialogue: The infosheets are designed to generate dialogue within the food service kitchen/system.
  • Information: The information presented is written with surprise, sometimes humorous graphic images, and data.
  • Context: The infosheets put food safety into context for food handlers by providing prescriptive information.

Globally foodborne illness affects an estimated 30% of individuals annually. Meals prepared outside of the home are a risk factor for acquiring foodborne illness and have been implicated in up to 70% of traced outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called on food safety communicators to design new methods and messages aimed at increasing food safety risk-reduction practices from farm to fork.

The World Health Organization has identified five factors that contribute to these illnesses: improper cooking procedures, temperature abuse during storage, lack of hygiene and sanitation by food handlers, cross-contamination between raw and fresh ready to eat foods, and acquiring food from unsafe sources the risks associated with particular actions. Food handlers carrying pathogens (such as hepatitis A, associated with outbreaks of foodborne illness.  Research on health behaviors has suggested that individuals make rational decisions about risk-reduction behaviors when they are aware of, and have some knowledge about, the risks associated with particular actions.

For more information please email Dr. Ben Chapman.