Date of Award

8-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agriculture and Extension Education

Major Professor

Carrie Ann Fritz

Committee Members

Randol G. Waters, Janie Burney

Abstract

The focus of this study was to provide a comparison of data collected from seventh grade students on food safety knowledge who have been through USDA’s National Integrated Food Safety Initiative program with those seventh grade students who have had no formal school instruction on this topic. Middle school students were specifically targeted because they are more likely to synthesize this information in a way that will lead to the development of new behaviors.

The population consisted of seventh grade students at Burchfield, Fairview, Huntsville and Oneida Middle Schools. Burchfield and Huntsville were the two schools used as the comparison group. The following conclusions were based on findings of this study: 1. There were some substantive increases in post-test scores for the treatment group. 2. The treatment group increased in all areas from pre-test to post-test. The areas included: Science Knowledge, Language Arts Knowledge, Math Knowledge, Social Studies Knowledge, Food Handling Skills Knowledge and Food Handling Behaviors Knowledge. 3. The data suggests this interdisciplinary food safety curriculum has made a positive impact on the treatment group. The scores after the program record higher overall than the comparison group scores. 4. The data showed that the treatment group had retained the knowledge, skills and behaviors six weeks after the treatment was administered. 5. Data revealed that the overall mean score for the treatment group pre-test was higher (+7.24) than the post-test score of the comparison group. 6. There was some evidence to suggest that the treatment group had more knowledge than the comparison group before the treatment, except in science, however the gain score afterwards shows the program successful. 7. A comparison of the treatment group and comparison group, revealed an overall increase in the mean score increase of 10.04 points for the treatment group, as an impact of this interdisciplinary food safety program. 8. After going through a one week food safety program, the student’s knowledge, skills and behaviors increased, thus strengthening the evidence that the program had a positive impact on the students.

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