Background: Incidence rates of some foodborne illnesses (FBIs) in BC still remain on the rise despite numerous initiatives to prevent FBIs. This rise over the years has been attributed to gaps in the public’s food-safety knowledge and practices. In order to decrease incidence rates and prevent future FBIs, efforts should be made to identify common misconceptions in the public’s food safety knowledge. With a focus on the Metro Vancouver population, common misconceptions in food safety were found and their knowledge level towards the misconceptions was analyzed.
Methods: An in-person survey was conducted in three locations in Metro Vancouver. The survey asked for demographics information, perceived food safety knowledge and food safety misconceptions. ANOVA and Independent Sample T-test were administered to analyze results.
Results: No statistically significant difference in food safety knowledge was found between groups by gender, age, and geographic region. The majority of participants rated their food safety knowledge as moderate but they demonstrated a poor knowledge level in food safety.
Conclusion: The public’s knowledge level should be improved to prevent further rises of FBIs. Initiatives involving the provincial Foodsafe certification program, secondary school curriculums and health authority websites can be utilized to educate the public., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Food safety, Misconceptions, Knowledge, Foodborne illness
Vancouver is located in a generally low-radon hazard zone. However, other parts of British Columbia such as the BC Interior or Northern BC are classified as high-radon hazard zone (or zone 1) due to the geological composition of rocks and soils in those areas. Despite the significant health risks associated with radon gas exposure, many BC residents and people across Canada have little to no knowledge regarding the topic. Since Post-secondary schools, such as the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), are places where knowledge is distributed and shared to our societies, it is important to assess students’ general knowledge background regarding radon gas. The result can then be extrapolated to the general populations.
An electronic survey was conducted to determine whether students in the six schools at BCIT have different background knowledge level regarding radon gas. The survey also determines students’ radon background knowledge based on different geographic regions they reside. The survey was conducted in-person at three main locations across BCIT’s Burnaby campus. It was administered using Google Forms and distributed to participants on Microsoft Surface 2.
The One-way ANOVA statistical analysis result indicated that there is a significant difference in mean radon survey scores among the six various BCIT schools(p=0.009). In addition, the Tukey Test revealed that students from the School of Health Science have an average radon survey score which is significantly different when compared to students from the School of Business. However, it was found that there is no significant difference in the mean radon survey scores between the School of Business and other schools at BCIT. Nonetheless, it was evident that the School of Health Science students had relatively higher radon survey scores and thus, were more knowledgeable regarding radon gas compared to students from the other five schools.
When analyzing survey scores among students residing in various geographic regions, the test showed that there is no significant difference in mean radon survey scores among BCIT students living in various geographic locations(p=0.46).
Based on the result of the study, the result showed that there is a significant difference in radon gas knowledge among BCIT students who majored in different schools. The School of Health Science students were more knowledgeable regarding the topic of radon gas compared to students in other schools. Nonetheless, all BCIT students achieved an average radon survey score of less than five out of ten, which was considered a failure score (Less than five out of ten). This showed that most BCIT students had very limited knowledge regarding radon gas and there were very limited amount of educational initiatives or campaigns available for students at BCIT. BCIT’s student association is recommended to create educational sessions across campus to raise student awareness regarding radon gas. At the community level, governments and various agencies such as the BC Lung Association need to work together to create radon awareness campaigns across BC and the rest of Canada. In order to get a more accurate representation of the radon gas knowledge level among people in BC, more research studies need to be conducted in other schools or general population groups., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Radon, Survey, School, BC, Knowledge, Lung, Cancer, Risk
Background: In the culinary industry, sous vide is a popular cooking method in which lower temperatures are used to cook food to retain more desirable organoleptic characteristics. However, this technique may compromise food safety as the temperature may not be sufficient enough to eliminate pathogens that may be present. The BCCDC’s Guidelines for Restaurant Sous Vide Cooking Safety in British Columbia advises when too many food items are placed in the sous vide water bath, inadequate water circulation may occur with the result that process lethality, measured by calculation of log10 reductions, may not be achieved. The purpose of this study was to determine how overcrowding a sous vide water bath would impact the thermal process of pork loins.
Methods: Each pork loin sample had a SmartButton inserted and was vacuum sealed in a plastic bag. The water bath was preheated to 60˚C by an immersion circulator. Under normal conditions, six pork loin samples were held in the water bath for 1 hour and the process was repeated four more times. Under overcrowded conditions, two runs were conducted for 1.5 to 2 hours, each consisting of 15 samples stacked in three layers. SmartButton temperature values were used to calculate whether a 6.5 log10 reduction for Salmonella spp. was achieved, using the American Meat Institute’s formula.
Results: Using a 31-minute cook time, pork loins in normal conditions reached an average log reduction of 8.85 (range: 0.51 to 21.07), which was significantly higher than the 6.5 log10 reduction objective (p = 0.006). Conversely, pork loins in overcrowded conditions reached an average log reduction of 1.76 (range: 0.05 to 7.93), which was significantly lower than the 6.5 log10 reduction objective (p = 0.000). Furthermore, cooking lethality between the two conditions, pork loins in crowded and overcrowded conditions, were found to be significantly different from each other (p = 0.000). No differences were found in the mean log10 reductions between the pork loins placed in each of the three layers in an overcrowded water bath at 31 minutes (p = 0.094).
Conclusion: Overcrowding sous vide water baths does impact on the thermal process of pork loins. Food products cooked under overcrowded conditions require a longer cook time, (approximately 30 minutes longer) to achieve at least 6.5 log10 reductions. Therefore, it is advised that food handlers using sous vide techniques should avoid overcrowding sous vide water baths. Further research using more samples is recommended to determine potential cold spot patterns in overcrowded water baths due to inadequate water circulation., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2018., Sous vide, overcrowding, water bath, pork loin, temperature, public health