Generational differences in food safety behaviors were identified in a study conducted by the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources, in which 510 Florida residents were surveyed about sources of food safety information and food safety knowledge.
Ages of the respondents were grouped into appropriate generations: Millennials or younger (1977-1996), Generation X (1965-1976), Young Baby Boomers (1955-1964), Old Baby Boomers (1946-1954), Silent and Older (1946 and earlier).
Results from the survey revealed 29.7 percent of Millennials and younger learn about food safety from their parents. Additionally, 28.7 percent of the Silent and Older generation learn about food safety from television.
“Knowing how food safety knowledge and behavior varies by generation allows us to target educational programming and communication to each group,” assistant professor of agricultural education and communication Joy Rumble said. “Targeting communication and education should have a stronger impact on each generation.”
Rumble led the survey for the PIE Center in the fall of 2014.
Food safety actions were also associated with generations. Seventy-nine percent of the Silent and Older generation often or always defrost foods in the microwave; however, only 41 percent of Millennials often or always participate in this practice.
The results also confirmed a difference in the practice of separating raw meat from ready-to-eat products. Ninety-one percent of Young Baby Boomers often or always implement this practice, in comparison to 74 percent of the Silent and Older generation who often or always participate in this food safety practice.
Generations were also tested on their food safety knowledge. The respondents answered a series of true or false questions to determine their knowledge of food safety. Every generation demonstrated a high level of food safety knowledge on a 12-point scale.
This study was published in the Food Control Journal in October 2016. Please visit the full journal article to learn more information.Download the full article Download the infographic
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