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Studies on Restaurant Food Handling and Food Safety Practices

This page lists completed EHS-Net food safety studies with a focus on restaurant food handling and food safety practices.

Read about how EHS-Net’s environmental public health practice work supports CDC’s Winnable Battle on Food Safety. [PDF - 305 KB]

Beef Grinding Logs Study

Objective: To describe recordkeeping practices of beef grinding activities in retail establishments.

Publication: Recordkeeping practices of beef grinding activities at retail establishments. [PDF - 283 KB] J Food Prot. 2011;74(6):1022-4.

Plain language summary: Beef grinding records kept by retail stores.

Chicken Handling Practices Study

Objective: To describe restaurant chicken preparation and cooking practices and kitchen managers’ food safety knowledge concerning chicken.

Publication: Frequency of inadequate chicken cross contamination prevention and cooking practices in restaurants. [PDF - 77 KB] J Food Prot. 2013;76(12):2141–5.

Plain language summary: How restaurants prepare and cook chicken.

Egg-Handling Practices Study

Objective: To identify the prevalence of high-risk egg-handling practices and establishment policies in restaurants that serve breakfast all day.

Publication: Prevalence of high-risk egg-preparation practices in restaurants that prepare breakfast egg entrees: An EHS-Net study. [PDF - 178 KB] J Food Prot. 2004;67:1444-50.

Plain language summary: How restaurants prepare eggs.

Food Allergens Practices Study

An image of a sign that says Food Allergy.

Objective: To describe knowledge and attitudes of restaurant managers, food workers, and servers about food allergies and to identify factors linked with their knowledge and attitudes.

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Publication: Food allergy knowledge and attitudes of restaurant managers and staff: an EHS-Net study. [PDF - 176 KB] J Food Prot. 2016;79(9):1588-98.

Plain language summary: Food allergies: Knowledge and attitudes of restaurant managers and staff.

Food Cooling Practices Study

Objective: To collect descriptive data on food cooling practices in restaurants and assess the effectiveness of these practices.

Publication: Quantitative analysis of restaurant data to determine best cooling practices. [PDF - 640 KB] J Food Prot. 2015;78(4):778-83.

Plain language summary: Best food cooling practices for restaurants.

Publication: Restaurant food cooling practices. [PDF - 435 KB] J Food Prot. 2012;75(12):2172-8.

Plain language summary: How restaurants cool food.

Photo of food worker preparing raw foods.

Food Workers’ Food Preparation Practices Focus Group Study

Objective: To evaluate behavioral factors, barriers, and motivations that influence safe food-handling practices in food-service establishments.

Publication: Factors impacting food workers’ and managers’ safe food preparation practices: a qualitative study. [PDF - 244 KB] Food Prot Trends. 2005;25:981-90.

Plain language summary: Factors affecting safe food preparation by food workers and managers.

Food Workers’ Food Preparation Practices Population Study

Objective: To determine self-reported prevalence of food service workers’ safe and unsafe food preparation practices at the population level.

Publication: Food service workers’ self-reported food preparation practices: an EHS-Net study. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2005;208(1–2):27-35.

Plain language summary: Food safety practices of restaurant workers.

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Ground Beef Handling Practices Study

Objective: To evaluate ground beef handling practices in restaurants.

Publication: Ground beef handling and cooking practices in restaurants in eight states. [PDF - 318 KB] J Food Prot. 2013;76(12):2132-40.

Plain language summaries:

Hand-Hygiene Study

Objective: To describe restaurant food workers' hand hygiene practices and identify factors associated with safe hand hygiene practices.

Publication: Factors related to food worker hand hygiene practices. [PDF - 489 KB] J Food Prot. 2007;70(3):661-6.

Plain language summary: Food worker handwashing and restaurant factors.

Publication: Food worker hand washing practices: an EHS-Net observation study. [PDF - 288 KB] J Food Prot. 2006;69(10):2417-23.

Plain language summary: Food worker handwashing and food preparation.

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Photo of a man doubled over in bed grabbing his stomach.

Ill Food Worker Study

Objective: To describe restaurant practices concerning ill workers and the frequency with which food workers work while ill with vomiting or diarrhea and to identify restaurant and worker characteristics linked with working with vomiting or diarrhea.

Publication: Managerial practices regarding workers working while ill. [PDF - 100 KB] J Food Prot. 2015;78(1):187-95.

Plain language summary: Food manager practices about workers working when they are sick.

Publication: Factors associated with food workers working while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. [PDF - 190 KB] J Food Prot. 2011;74(2):215-20.

Plain language summary: Food workers working when they are sick.

Publication: Food worker experiences with and beliefs about working while ill. [PDF - 157 KB] J Food Prot. 2013;76(12):2146-54.

Plain language summaries:

Leafy Greens Handling Practices Study

Objective: To describe restaurant leafy greens preparation practices.

Publication: Handling practices of fresh leafy greens in restaurants: receiving and training. [PDF - 165 KB] J Food Prot. 2013;76(12):2126-31.

Plain language summary: How restaurants receive leafy vegetables.

Microwave Cooking Practices Study

Objective: To describe food service establishments’ microwave cooking practices.

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Publication: Microwave cooking practices in Minnesota food service establishments. J Food Prot. 2016;79(3):507-11.

Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification Study

Objective: To examine the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.

Publication: Restaurant manager and worker food safety certification and knowledge. [PDF - 485 KB] Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2014;11(11):835-43.

Plain language summary: Food safety certification and knowledge.

Retail Deli Food Safety Practices Study

Photo of some meat being sliced with a deli meat slicer.

Objective: To describe

  • How often deli slicers are fully cleaned as often as FDA recommends (every 4 hours) and
  • Deli, manager, and worker traits related to how often slicers are cleaned.

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Publication: Retail deli slicer cleaning frequency — six selected sites, United States, 2012. MMWR. 2016;65(12):306-10.

Plain language summary: How often retail delis clean their slicers.

Tomato-Handling Practices Study

Objective: To identify the types of tomatoes used in restaurants and describe tomato-handling practices.

Publication: Tomato handling practices in restaurants. [PDF - 109 KB] J Food Prot. 2009;72(8):1692-8.

Plain language summary: How restaurants handle tomatoes.

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