The relevance of the Finnish hygiene passport test

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333652

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Vaarala , A , Uusitalo , L , Lunden , J & Tuominen , P 2021 , ' The relevance of the Finnish hygiene passport test ' , Food Control , vol. 130 , 108254 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2021.108254

Title: The relevance of the Finnish hygiene passport test
Author: Vaarala, Auli; Uusitalo, Liisa; Lunden, Janne; Tuominen, Pirkko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Finnish Food Authority
University of Helsinki, Food Hygiene and Environmental Health
Date: 2021-12
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Food Control
ISSN: 0956-7135
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333652
Abstract: The Finnish Hygiene Passport System, a national legislative requirement, has been used to test the food safety knowledge of food handlers for almost 20 years, resulting in over one million approved hygiene passports. However, information on the relevance of the Hygiene Passport System is virtually nonexistent. In order to evaluate the relevance of the official hygiene passport test, we collected a sample of original official hygiene passport tests from test examiners. We also arranged a simulated hygiene passport test for volunteers without any professional background in the food sector to investigate whether the basic level of hygiene knowledge of Finns is sufficient to pass the test. Our study revealed that more than 80% of the participants in the official hygiene passport test passed. However, participants completing the test in a foreign language or with assistance had significantly more difficulties in passing the test. The results for the simulated test suggested that the food safety knowledge of most Finns would have enabled them to pass the official test without prior training, especially those older than 20 and with a higher educational level. The simulated test also revealed that preparation prior to the test, i.e. study or training, was effective in increasing the food safety knowledge of participants, especially when their knowledge level was initially low, as among young participants. Moreover, significant variation in the difficulty of the test itself was observed, which may affect the pass rate. The current study supports the relevance of the hygiene passport test, showing that without the national requirement for the hygiene passport test, the level of food hygiene knowledge of new employees in the food sector, especially young people aged under 20, would be lower. However, our results suggest that the relevance of the hygiene passport test should be improved by validation of the test and by using official translations when conducting the test in a foreign language. Digitalization of the test would enable the regular evaluation of the test based on accurate data collection.
Subject: Food hygiene
Food hygiene knowledge
Food safety
FOOD SAFETY KNOWLEDGE
SELF-REPORTED PRACTICES
HANDLING PRACTICES
BRITISH-COLUMBIA
HANDLERS
ATTITUDES
RESTAURANTS
BEHAVIORS
416 Food Science
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