Researchers at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Newcastle have been commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to look at food safety practices in UK kitchens.
Dr Wendy Wills at the University’s Centre for Primary and Community Care will lead an 18 month project to explore what people do in their kitchens and how design, appliances and other resources like hot water influence how food is stored, prepared and eaten and whether this is related to the level of bacteria in domestic kitchens.
The researchers will use a variety of methods to fully interrogate the kitchen life of 20 case study households across the UK, including video recording, photography, drawing maps and swabbing for bacteria. The results will help the FSA in future activity and communication with a range of stakeholders about how rates of foodborne illness can be reduced.
“The importance of understanding domestic food safety practices has become a high priority for the FSA, particularly in relation to groups known to be vulnerable to foodborne disease, including the over 60s and pregnant women,” said Dr Wills. “In order to understand why people do what they do, we need to explore all aspects of the kitchen and the role it plays for the entire household.”