Source: DREXEL UNIVERSITY submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2009
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2014
Grant Year
Project Director
Quinlan, J. J.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
The most recent data indicates that Salmonella and Campylobacter continue to be the leading causes of foodborne illness in the United States. Additionally, recent research has found positive correlations between rates of foodborne illness including Salmonella and Campylobacter and increased % African American Population, % Hispanic Population, % urban population and % of the population below poverty. Analysis of past FoodNet data has indicated that Hispanic, Asian and African American populations may suffer from greater rates of illness from foodborne pathogens than Caucasian populations. Evidence also indicates that individuals of low socioeconomic status may suffer greater rates of foodborne illness. This project will analyze and contrast the food handling practices of consumers of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and Asian background with respect to their handling of raw poultry and eggs. We propose to identify consistent practices or trends which might place populations of a particular racial or ethnic background at increased risk for illness from these pathogens due to cross contamination in the kitchen or improper cooking/holding practices. Based on these findings, this project will develop culturally relevant educational materials for the target consumers to address potentially dangerous cultural practices related to raw poultry and eggs. Following their development, educational materials will be disseminated through an education campaign in the targeted population in the Philadelphia area. The effectiveness of the materials in the targeted education campaign will be evaluated by comparing pre- and post- campaign knowledge and behaviors as well as through focus groups of participants in the education campaign.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
This integrated research and extension project will develop, implement and evaluate safe food handling messages for raw poultry and eggs tailored to maximize effectiveness within targeted minority racial/ethnic populations. The project's overall goal will be accomplished by 1) conducting focus groups and surveys to critically analyze consumer food handling practices of minority racial/ethnic populations with respect to raw poultry and eggs, 2) developing educational materials for consumers based on risks identified in initial focus groups and surveys, 3) Implementing the dissemination of the educational materials through a pilot study conducted in the urban Philadelphia area and 4) Evaluating the effectiveness of the educational materials through both pre- and post- implementation surveys as well as post-implementation focus groups. Successful completion of this project will result in the availability of food safety education materials targeted toward urban minority populations which would have the potential to be disseminated and utilized in other urban and/or minority populations.
Project Methods
Focus groups will be conducted to identify potential differences in handling of raw poultry and egg products among populations of different demographics. Based on focus group input, phone surveys will be conducted to determine prevalence of mishandling of poultry and egg products among populations of minority racial and ethnic background. Findings from focus groups and surveys will be used to develop culturally appropriate safe food handling messages. The effectiveness of the educational materials developed will be determined using pre- and post- education campaign surveys to determine if there is an increase in knowledge of safe food handling practices following exposure to the education campaign.

Progress 09/01/12 to 08/31/13

Target Audience: Multi-media education materials instructing consumers NOT to wash raw poultry were completed during this reporting period ( They were piloted among limited communities/consumers in Philadelphia, PA in April-May of 2013. Following piloting of the materials their availability was made public to consumers through a press release by Drexel University ( The campaign received extensive media attention on nationally distributed platforms throughout the end of August 2013 and the Fall of 2013 (slightly beyond this reporting period). Following a story on National Public Radio's blog “The Salt,” the materials were featured on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Doctors, ABC's The Chew, FOX network news, CNN, Slate online magazine, and more than 500 regional TV stations and newspapers. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Continued mentoring of two Ph.D. students completing their dissertation research on this project. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Through the piloting of the education materials as well as the Drexel press release, availability of the "Don't Wash Your Chicken" education materials was advertised to the general public. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Availabilty of the education materials as well as results of the piloting of them will continue to be disseminated to Food safety education professionals through presentations and peer reviewed publications. Additionally, work will continue on the added objective of auditing and microbial sampling from 100 urban homes in Philadelphia, PA.

What was accomplished under these goals? Development of the multi-media education materials instructing consumers not to wash raw poultry was completed. Eduction materials were piloted with a small population in Philadelphia, PA. A posttest only design consisted of four control library sites, three intervention libraries and a single intervention supermarket. Intervention sites displayed the four different brochures for one-week each (four week intervention total). Immediately following the intervention, face-to-face surveys were administered. A total of 528 surveys were completed (264 each at control and intervention sites). The intervention group significantly (p<0.05) improved their behavior towards not washing whole and small cuts of raw chicken; they improved their knowledge that washing would not lessen their chances of becoming ill; and they had better self-efficacy that they could stop washing whole raw chicken. Following piloting of the intervention, the availability of the materials was publized through a press release by Drexel University ( Following the August 19, 2013 press release, the team was able to track and measure the appeal of different aspects of the campaign through viewership on social media. While the cooking videos and YouTube mini-dramas were viewed between approx. 500-5000 times each, it appeared that the 14-second animated “Germ-Vision” was most effective in conveying the public health message. Viewership ranged from 349 views/day right after the press release to a peak of 50,061 views/day on August 28, 2013. There were continued high levels of viewership through September 2013 and the Germ-Vision continues to be viewed on a daily basis.


  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2012 Citation: S.E. Henley, S. E. Stein and J.J. Quinlan. 2012. Identification of Unique Food Handling Practices That May Represent Food Safety Risks for Minority Consumers. J.of Food Prot. 75(11):2050-2054.

Progress 09/01/11 to 08/31/12

Target Audience: Preliminary formative research was shared with both Public Health Professionals and Food Safety Professional during this reporting period Changes/Problems: An objective was added to include observations and microbial sampling in the homes of 100 urban consumers. This objective was added based on findings from our focus groups which indicated a high rate of pest infestation and lack of some basic resources. This objective was able to be added with the support of a Ph.D. student on a teaching assistantship by Drexel University. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Mentoring of two Ph.D. students to complete their Ph.D.'s in food microbiology. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Results were disseminated to Public Health professionals and Food Safety professionals through presentations at national/international meetings. Additionally, results of focus group work have been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? During the next reporting period development of education materials will be completed and education materials will be piloted to determine their efficacy in changing consumers knowledge and behavior to not wash raw poultry.

What was accomplished under these goals? 1) Conducting focus groups and surveys to critically analyze consumer food handling practices of minority racial/ethnic populations with respect to raw poultry and eggs Previous accomplishments reported results of focus groups with consumers of minority race and ethnicity. Results obtained from focus groups were utilized in this time period to modify an existing food safety education survey to include questions that arose from our focus groups. These included questions about washing raw pork and raw poultry, purchasing eggs at room temperature, cooking a turkey overnight, purchasing live poultry and practices around purchasing and consuming ofal products. These were all trends which were identified in our focus groups and were included in the survey to determine how widespread these trends are among consumers of different demographics. The survey was administered during this reporting period (specifically in Fall 2011). Approximately four hundred phone surveys were completed. Surveys were targeted to sample approximately equal numbers of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and Asian consumers. (That is, approximately 100 of each race/ethnicity for a total of 400 surveys) Surveys were analyzed to identify a common mishandling practice which has not previously been addressed through a food safety education campaign. While a number of potentially unsafe practices were identified, the mishandling practice of washing raw poultry was chosen for development of an education campaign as this mishandling practices was found to be widespread (85%-92%) among consumers of all demographics. 2) developing educational materials for consumers based on risks identified in initial focus groups and surveys, During this reporting time period development of educational materials was begun with initial planning and drafts of the educational material developed but the final educational material was not available yet at the end of this reporting period.


  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2011 Citation: S.C. Henley, S.E. Stein and J.J. Quinlan. 2011 Examining Safe Food Handling Knowledge and Practices Among Minority Consumers. Annual Mtg. of American Public Health Association. Washington, DC
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2012 Citation: S.C. Henley, S.E. Stein and J.J. Quinlan. 2012. Identifying Food Safety Risks for Minority Racial/Ethnic Consumers. Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection. Providence, RI

Progress 09/01/10 to 08/31/11

OUTPUTS: Focus groups were conducted with consumers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds (African American, Hispanic and Asian) to determine identify potential unique food safety handling risks or behaviors to inform and modify a larger survey to be developed. The results of these focus groups were disseminated through a poster presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. A modified Food Safety Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior Survey was developed using an existing survey developed and administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and modifying the survey based on unique themes which emerged from our focus groups with minority consumers. The modified survey is in the process of being administered by phone to an equal number each of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and Asian Consumers. PARTICIPANTS: The P.I., Jennifer Quinlan and the Co-P.I. Susan Stein both mentored and assisted the graduate student, Shauna Henley with the recruitment for and running of 9 focus groups in the community. All three researchers also had input into the development of the modified food safety survey based on results and emergent themes from the focus groups. Ms. Henley also developed and defended her Ph.D. research proposal and passed her Ph.D. Candidacy exam to become a Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Biology, Drexel University. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Focus groups were conducted with the target audiences at community centers, a library, and church in Philadelphia, PA. Information was gathered to explore the thought and action processes of respondents preparation of meals containing raw poultry, pork, eggs, and tofu. The question route design was based on USDA-FSIS, CDC, and FDA consumer food safety recommendations. Results indicated that participants rarely used meat thermometers to determine if foods were at a safe internal temperature to consume (160-165˚F). Leftovers were often heated until warm or eaten cold. Inadequate reheating of leftovers can allow for foodborne pathogens to survive and remain a food safety risk. Almost all focus group participants reported washing raw meat products prior to cooking, despite the fact that current recommendations for safe food handling include not washing meat or poultry products. Preparing food the way they were taught in the home appeared to dictate food handling procedures to a greater extent than government recommendations. Participants expressed that they had appropriate knowledge of proper cleaning/sanitation steps and practiced them regularly. The most unique food safety risk observed for these populations when compared to general surveys was that the extended time period utilizing public transportation for food shopping may provide an opportunity for extended holding of potentially hazardous foods unrefrigerated.


  • No publications reported this period

Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

OUTPUTS: Community groups were identified to perform focus groups to assess food safety knowledge and unique cultural issues for food safety risks among Asian, Hispanic and African American populations, particularly those in low socioeconomic areas with limited resources. Focus group question routes as well as baseline surveys were developed. Meetings were conducted with Co-PI's in New Mexico who will ultimately develop education materials to ensure that appropriate information is obtained to assist in message delivery. PARTICIPANTS: Jennifer Quinlan made community contacts to develop relationships with organizations in order to conduct focus groups as well as recruited and mentored the Ph.D. student who is working on the project. Susan Stein assisted in mentoring the Ph.D. student and providing professional guidance for appropriate focus group methodology. Shauna Henley made community contacts and developed relationships to conduct focus groups in local communities as well as developed focus group questioning routes and baseline survey. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: A delay in the progress of the project was experienced in order to recruit Ms. Henley for her Ph.D. project on this research. Because her unique background and previous research fit the project very well it was determined that progress on the project, and therefore expenditures on the project would be better delayed in order to have the best available personnel.

Limited qualitative results are available at this time and are being utilized to modify surveys to be administered in year 2.


  • No publications reported this period