Knowledge and Attitudes toward Food Safety and Use of Good Production Practices among Canadian Broiler Chicken Producers

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Abstract:

Provincial broiler-chicken marketing boards in Canada have recently implemented an on-farm food safety program called Safe, Safer, Safest. The purpose of this study was to measure broiler chicken producers' attitudes toward the program and food safety topics and use of highly recommended good production practices (GPP). Mailed and Web-based questionnaires were administered to all producers registered in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec in 2008. The response percentage was 33.2% (642 of 1,932). Nearly 70% of respondents rated the program as effective in producing safe chicken, and 49.1% rated the program requirements as easy to implement. Most respondents (92.9%) reported that they do not raise other poultry or keep birds as pets, and 79.8% reported that they clean and disinfect their barns between each flock cycle. Less than 50% of respondents reported that visitors wash their hands or change their clothes before entering barns, 38.4% reported that catching crews wear clean clothes and boots, and 35.8% reported that a crew other than from the hatchery places chicks. Respondents who rated the program requirements as effective or easy to implement were more likely to report the use of five of six highly recommended GPP. Only 21.1% of respondents indicated that Campylobacter can be transmitted from contaminated chicken meat to humans, and 26.6% believed that antimicrobial use in their industry is linked to antimicrobial resistance in humans. Continuing education of producers should focus on improving their awareness of these issues, while mandatory GPP should include those that are known to be effective in controlling Campylobacter and Salmonella in broiler chicken flocks.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1; Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, 160 Research Lane, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 5B2. iyoung@uoguelph.ca 2: Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1, Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, 160 Research Lane, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 5B2, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5B4 3: Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, C.P. 5000, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada J2S 7C6 4: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, 1767 Angus Campbell Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V3G 2M3 5: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 1 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 4Y2 6: Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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