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P94 Making On-Farm Food Safety Easy Using an Online Application

      Background

      Foodborne illness costs in the US are approximately $164 billion/year. In addition to public health costs, outbreaks pose huge risks and even jail time to the agricultural sector. Typical on-farm food safety trainings require all-day, lecture-based education that are costly and ineffective. Previous survey results show that 68% of 200 California farmers viewed laws and regulations as a barrier, 79% do not have documented food safety plans and 71% want practical food safety trainings.

      Objective

      The objective of this study was to develop, refine, and test the effectiveness of 13 on-farm food safety training videos which are a component of an interactive online food safety education program called EASY GAP.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      This study was a between-subjects design with 2 treatment groups comprised of California specialty crop farmers. Group #1 participants reviewed draft videos and Group #2 participants reviewed revised videos. Both groups completed a post survey.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Agreement statements were measured to determine the impact on knowledge and use of the videos. Additional questions captured participant feedback on the video training modules. Survey results were analyzed using SPSS (version 25) to assess differences between groups. A Mann Whitney Test was used to compare the survey responses between groups.

      Results

      There was a significant increase (P < .05) between group 1 (n = 34) and group 2 (n = 34) on how strongly they agree that the videos increased their knowledge pertaining to causes of foodborne illness and human risk. There was a significant increase (P < .05) between groups on how strongly they agree on ease of video use. There was a significant decrease (P < .05) between groups on how strongly they agree that the pace of the videos was too fast.

      Conclusions

      Overall, participants agreed that the revised videos provided more useful information and were easier to use compared to the draft videos.
      Funding USDA, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California State University Agricultural Research Initiative.