Background: In the current culture of dining-out, there is a greater emphasis on the overall dining experience at restaurants and less of a concern regarding food safety. The public often relies on consumer-generated review websites, such as Yelp and Google Reviews, to decide on where to eat. Each restaurant is often rated out of 5-stars based on factors such as customer service and food quality. The public perceives a restaurant with a 1-star rating poorly, whereas a restaurant with a 5-star rating is seen as excellent. Moreover, the aspect of food safety is determined by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) who conduct inspections and assign hazard ratings to restaurants, which describe them as a low, moderate, or high-risk food premises. These inspection report results can be disseminated to the public online or through a placard system by the health authority. Currently, in most cities, there is no linkage or display of inspection report results on consumer-generated review websites.
Methods: Secondary data was collected from publicly available online sources: Fraser Health’s restaurant inspection reports and two consumer-generated restaurant review websites – Yelp and Google Reviews. The author analyzed 170 randomly selected restaurants from the three most populous cities under Fraser Health’s jurisdiction (British Columbia, Canada): Surrey, Burnaby, and Abbotsford. Only independent restaurants and their routine inspection reports were considered in this study. The following data was obtained from each of the restaurant’s available routine inspection reports: current hazard rating, the average hazard score, and total number of critical violations (CVs). These variables were then compared to the current star rating found on Yelp and Google Reviews.
Results: A total of six statistical analyses were conducted: two chi-square tests and four correlational analyses. When comparing the current hazard rating of the restaurant and their current star rating using chi-square tests, p = 0.0855 for Yelp and p = 0.0739 for Google Reviews. Furthermore, in all four correlational analyses, a negative linear relationship was observed, but only three resulted in statistically significant results. When comparing the average hazard score of the restaurant’s routine inspections and their current star rating, p = 0.0591 for Yelp (power = 47.21%) and p = 0.0000 for Google Reviews (power = 99.97%). When comparing the restaurant’s total CVs from routine inspections and their current star rating, p = 0.0001 for Yelp (power = 97.29%) and p = 0.0000 for Google Reviews (power = 100%).
Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrated that prescribed food safety evaluations largely align with the customer perception of restaurants. Although three out of six statistical tests resulted in statistically significant results, overall, it appears that restaurants with a higher star rating have lower number of CVs and lower average hazard scores. Even though this ideal relationship was established, the importance of safe food handling practices and serving safe food to the public should not be overlooked. Consumer-generated restaurant review websites are an excellent avenue to promote food safety within the overall culture of dining-out at restaurants., 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 2020., Google Reviews, Food safety, Inspection report results, Star ratings, Restaurants, Review websites, Yelp
Background: Globally 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year equating to approximately 750 billion US dollars (1). In Canada it has been estimated that $31 billion of food is wasted annually (2). This amount can easily be used to feed hundreds of thousands of undernourished people across the world. Food wastage can occur at every level of the food supply chain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the food waste generated by residents of British Columbia, Canada. The study aimed to identify the general knowledge regarding food waste and ugly produce, the attitudes of the public towards food waste, and the general practices of waste disposal.
Methods: A self-administered electronic survey created on Survey Monkey Canada was distributed on various social media platforms over a two-week period in January 2020. The survey contained questions that resulted in a score for knowledge of food waste, attitude towards food waste and the waste reduction practices of British Columbian residents. Chi square and correlational analyses were performed using the statistical package NCSS.
Results: 96 respondents met the inclusion criteria and completed the survey. Many participants received a medium score for knowledge (N=67) and possessed a positive attitude (N=71) towards food waste. There was an even distribution between good and fair practice level (N=49 and N=46). There was no association between level of food waste knowledge and demographic categories except for age (p=0.025). Younger participants were less knowledgeable. Between practice and demographic variables, no statistically significant associations were found. The results for attitude were determined to be non-statistically significant for age, gender and experience working in the food industry while there was a statistically significant association between attitude and an individual’s education level (p = 0.008). Those with higher levels of education had a more positive attitude. No correlation was determined between knowledge and practice indicating that there is no influence of knowledge on practice and vice versa. The study found that there is a positive correlation (p = 0.0004 and r = 0.3542) between attitude and practice indicating that these two variables influence each other.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the population in B.C. who responded to the survey has adequate knowledge, a positive attitude and moderate practice behaviours regarding food waste. Younger individuals were less knowledgeable about food waste and the more educated one is, the more positive their attitude towards food is. The study also indicated that positive attitudes translated into better practice. These results are only a starting point in determining the causes for food loss and waste in B.C as it reveals the need for more local initiatives to bring everyone to start adopting food waste reduction strategies., 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 2020., Environmental health, Food waste, Ugly produce, Environment, Greenhouse gases