Exploring Florida residents’ food safety knowledge and behaviors: A generational comparison

Arthur Leal, Taylor K. Ruth, Joy N. Rumble, Amarat H. Simonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to determine if there were generational differences in Florida residents’ food safety knowledge and food safety behaviors. A total of 510 Florida residents responded to an online survey and represented five generational categories. A significant association was found between food safety behaviors and generations for disinfecting counters before preparing food; separating raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat products; defrosting frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave; and looking for expiration dates on food before eating. Millennials or younger, Generation X, and Old Baby Boomers indicated they learned the most about food safety from their parents, while Young Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation and older reported learning the most from television. The Millennials or younger generation were identified as having the least amount of food safety knowledge, but all generations appeared to have gaps in food safety knowledge. Recommendations included non-formal and formal food safety education for all generations, especially those generations raising children. Researchers also recommended tailoring educational efforts to each generations’ preferred method of learning about food safety. Future research should determine the influence of non-formal and formal food safety classes and how individuals’ perceived control over foodborne illnesses affects food safety behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1202
Number of pages8
JournalFood Control
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Florida food safety
  • Food safety
  • Food safety behaviors
  • Food safety education
  • Food safety knowledge
  • Generational differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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