Background: Foodborne illnesses have a significant global burden and can be life-threatening, but good food hygiene practice can prevent most. SafeConsume is an EU-funded, transdisciplinary project aiming to improve consumers’ food safety behaviour and reduce the burden of foodborne illness. Young people are at risk of foodborne illness and research indicates a lack of knowledge or concern about food hygiene. Educational settings provide an opportunity to influence behaviour; but for resources to be effective and implementable, they should be evidence-based and thoughtfully designed. Aim: To develop educational resources to teach food hygiene and food safety to school children aged 11–18 years old, through a user-based approach, specific to the educational setting. Methods: Development used a two-step process referred to as: the insight phase; and prototyping and refinement phase. This included using the findings of a needs assessment with students and educators based on the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) presented in earlier publications (Eley et al., 2021; Syeda et al., 2021). A user-centred approach to development was then taken, employing an iterative process of idea generation, consultation with a multidisciplinary steering group, and user testing. Results: The insight phase identified students' and educators’ deficiencies in knowledge and skills, and cultural and social influences on food safety behaviours. This phase, including Curriculum analysis informed student learning objectives and educator training topics. Following a round of development and consultation, a total of seven teaching resources were developed, with four educator training modules to improve knowledge and confidence of educators. Conclusions: Behavioural theory is a useful foundation for the development of school-based health interventions, which aim to positively influence students' knowledge, behaviour, and attitudes. To support educators’ uptake, materials should be aligned to the national curriculum and should consider practical factors like time and environmental factors. By working closely with stakeholders at all stages of development, barriers to use, implementation and efficacy can be identified and mitigated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
SafeConsume (www.safeconsume.eu) is an EU Horizon 2020-funded transdisciplinary research project that includes eight work packages which drive research and development in consumer directed food-safety interventions. This includes development of educational resources for schools, led by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) based research team behind ‘e-Bug’(www.e-bug.eu), a health and hygiene education resource, that has been developed and maintained for over 10 years.This work was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 727580.
This work was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 727580 .
- Behavioural science
- Educational resources
- Food hygiene
- Food safety
- Intervention development