Background: Nowadays most people have their meals outside of their homes and largely depend on the restaurants’ made food. Consequently consumers exposed themselves to risk and become vulnerable to illness caused by food. Unsafe food preparation and handling by restaurants’ workers have made food safety a concern for public health. The study was aimed to examine the relationships among food safety knowledge, attitude, and hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) practices in restaurant employees in Bangladesh.
Methods: A total of 360 employees from 120 restaurants participated in a face-to-face interview through a structured questionnaire comprising four sections: demographic characteristics, food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices. The mean scores for each survey item were calculated and used in structural equation modeling (SEM), designed to assess interrelationships among the three sections related to food safety.
Results: Participants obtained a correct average score of 53.32% in food safety knowledge, with the highest and lowest correct scores in good hygiene practices (GHPs) and HACCP practices, respectively. The highest score in the attitude section belonged to “self-improvement”, followed by “food safety concern”. A negative correlation was observed between knowledge with practices, knowledge with attitudes, and a positive correlation was observed between practices with attitudes. A significant positive correlation was observed between HACCP practices with shelf improvement (r = 0.54, p < 0.05) and the knowledge toward food poisoning with GHP practices (r = 0.55, p < 0.05). Self-improvement and food safety concern are negatively correlated with food poisoning, GHP, and HACCP practice.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the restaurant employees in Bangladesh often have lack of knowledge regarding food safety and HACCP. There is an immediate need for education and training among restaurant employees in order to improve knowledge and attitude on safe HACCP practice.