Assessment of Food Safety Knowledge of Food Handlers and the Level of Implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices at Restaurants in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka
The study aims to assess the food safety knowledge of restaurant owners/head chefs and to investigate the current level of implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in restaurants in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. Data were collected from a convenient sample of 100 respondents (50 owners and 50 head chefs) of 50 restaurants in the Kegalle District using both researcher and self-administered questionnaires. The collected data were analyzed using Minitab (16/17) and the Microsoft Excel software
packages. The General and in-depth food safety knowledge of the respondents were tested using a selfadministered questionnaire which consisted of 24 questions. The GMP implementation was evaluated using a checklist consisting of 40 major Good Manufacturing Practices. The results indicate that the food safety knowledge of the respondents (restaurant owners and head chefs) increased with their education level and level of training. The mean in-depth knowledge score of the respondents was significantly different (p < 0.05) from that of their mean general knowledge of food safety. Results indicate that 22% of the respondents have never attended any training sessions or open seminars related to food safety and showed poor knowledge, especially on aspects such as correct temperature control during handling food. The level of GMP implementation increased with restaurant owners' in-depth and total food safety knowledge. The food safety knowledge of head chefs did not seem to affect the level of GMP implementation at restaurants. Since the GMP implementation at restaurants is mostly affected by the restaurant owner’s knowledge and skills, the authors recommend conducting training sessions or open seminars to upgrade their in-depth and total knowledge of food safety.