Skip to main content

A Video Study of Australian Domestic Food-Handling Practices

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Poor food-handling and hygiene practices in domestic kitchens are thought to be the cause of a significant amount of foodborne illness. Food-handling practices were studied by video observation in 40 home kitchens in Melbourne, Australia. Participant households included those of single people, couples, and families from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The kitchens were continuously video monitored for 1 or 2 weeks during 1997 and 1998. Infrequent hand washing; poor hand-washing technique; lack of hand washing prior to food preparation; inadequate cleaning of kitchen surfaces; involvement of pets in the kitchen; touching of the face, mouth, nose, and/or hair during food preparation; and lack of separate hand and dish towels were the most common unhygienic practices observed. Prior to video surveillance, participant households answered a food-safety questionnaire that related to preparation and handling of food. These answers were contrasted with the actual practices observed in each household. There was a significant variance between stated (answers provided in response to the questionnaire) and observed (via video monitoring) food-handling and hygiene practices. The results of this study raise concerns about consumer food-handling and hygiene practices in Australian domestic kitchens. A continuous and increased effort in the education of the public in the area of hygienic food preparation is indicated.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Microtech Laboratories Pty Ltd., 20 King Street, Blackburn 3130, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more