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International Food Safety Network researchers are currently exploring projects in these areas:

Food Service

1. Assessment of risk decision-making on food safety choices and their promotion by chefs and restaurant operators.
Exploring how food source safety decisions are made, any claims used to convey to messages consumers. This will be carried out through interviews with menu builders and tested with information from producers (possibly use farmed/wild salmon, GE/organic and as case studies)

2. The effect of liability and potential litigation on food safety advancements in food service, an international look.
Exploring the impact of the threat of legal action on knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in Canada, the US, Ireland and New Zealand. Comparisons of legal and healthcare systems will be incorporated.

3. Review of food inspection disclosure systems
A repository of inspection disclosure systems will be compiled and stored at How this single source is used with respect to tourism information and consumer restaurant preference will be evaluated through on-line follow-up surveys and interviews.

4. An evaluation of disclosure systems for restaurant inspections: an international perspective
A comparitive examination of the impacts of inspection disclosure systems. Interview/surveys will be completed with: politicians, health officials, restaurant operators and consumers.Six communities in Ontario will be examined: two which already have disclosure systems, two which are implementing mandatory disclosure in late 2005 and two where disclosure does not exist. They will be compared to four US jurisdictions, Ireland's closure posting system and a incoming New Zealand strategy.

5. Implications of not following the basics: using outbreak stories as learning material for food service /grocery operators and employees.
Information summaries directed at employees and operators will be evaluated as a knowledge-building strategy. Pre and post surveys will be used to establish if a change in knowledge and attitude occurred. Different delivery mechanisms such as frequent faxes or emails and discussion in context during inspection will be evaluated.

6. Assessment of impact of mandatory food handler food safety courses
Different strategies for food handler training will be evaluated based on effectiveness, accessibility and cost. Strategies will be tested with already certified handlers as well as potential handlers. Operators will be interviewed about impact, accessibility and cost-effectiveness. Follow-up observational studies will be used to assess impact.

7. Hospitality food safety; assessing and advancing food safety awareness in developing countries where tourism is a major industry
An international project where researchers will assess food safety issues at resort properties (handling, safe food source, knowledge) and test different strategies to improve them using Canadian expertise in these areas.


8. The effect of liability and litigation on food safety practices in on-farm food safety
Exploring the impact of the threat of legal action on knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in Canada and the US through survey and interviews. Comparisons of legal and healthcare systems will be incorporated.

9. Cross border information sharing with respect to the politics of food safety -- with Kansas State.
Exploring food safety standards, traceability information and outbreak case studies to aid in allocation future resources into disease management and communication. Case studies will include: North American BSE 2003-2005 and a 2005 outbreak of cyclospora on basil.

10. Food safety through supply chains, exploring how companies assure safe food -- with Kansas State
An assessment of policies and practices will be examined through the review of company guidelines, interviews with purchasers and suppliers of major food distribution companies in North America. Particular emphasis will be placed on auditing practices, requirements and costs.

11. Assessment of petting zoo safety policies and practices.
Asssessment of hygiene practices at petting zoos in North America, through interview and observation with operators and parents. Particular focus will be on the influence of liability on practices. Results will be tested through a program designed to promote hygiene at a petting zoo and evaluated with public participants.

12. Safe food from farmer's markets
An assessment of food safety practices of vendors, how inspectors impact/interact and consumer expectations at various sites in Ontario. This will be undertaken through observation of practices, cataloging risk messages and through interviews with organizers, vendors and consumers.

Consumer practices and messaging

13. Consumer use of meat thermometers, an assessment of messaging and use through observation.
Household cooking situations will be simulated and prompted/unprompted thermometer use observed. Effectiveness of commercially available thermometers will be evaluated following washing, dropping, and exposure to heat and cold extremes.

14. Design and evaluation of Listeria risk communication with pregnant women.
An survey of listeria risk knowledge will be conducted with pregnant women and the results used to design messaging and media. Information sites will include doctor's offices, grocery stores and prenatal classes.