Understanding the Characteristics and Educational Needs for Enhancing Food Safety of Specialty Food Production in the Northwest Region
 Surveys: Processors
 and Food Regulators

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 Collaborators
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 Event Calendar
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 Specialty Food Education
 and Extension Publications

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 Examples of Specialty Foods
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Two sets of the survey addressed to the northwest specialty food processors and the state food inspectors were developed and implemented in 2009. Both surveys asked about the participants' knowledge on the unique characteristics of specialty foods (SF); the need, format, and timeframe for food safety training; and the geographic characteristics of individual respondent. In addition, the type of SF products, business size, and distribution channel were surveyed in the SF processor survey, and the background and experience of the inspectors and their concerns in the food safety of SF production were asked in the food inspector survey..

Survey questionnaires were drafted by the project investigators, reviewed by an OSU extension assessment specialist, project collaborators including the food safety manager or director in the state department of agriculture, and by an advisory committee consist of nine specialty food processors in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Survey questionnaires were then modified based on the feedbacks. Finally, a 25-question survey for SF processors and 23-question survey for food inspectors were developed, respectively. Before launching the surveys, they were tested by invited individuals to test the clarity of the questions, time to completion, and any potential bugs.

The survey was administered by using Zoomerang, an online survey clearinghouse (MarketTools®, San Francisco, CA). The food inspectors' survey was launched in early June, 2009, and the web linkage to the survey site was send to 120 state food inspectors in Idaho, Oregon and Washington through the food safety directors or managers in the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Washington Department of Agriculture, and Idaho Department of Health. Data collection for the food inspectors' survey was completed in the end of July, 2009. For the specialty food processors' survey, for those whom we have e-mail addresses, the web linkage to the survey site was e-mailed to them for completing the online survey, while for those whom we don't have access to their e-mail address, a paper survey with pre-paid return envelop was mailed. During July to October, 2009, processors survey was reached to total 3,355 specialty food processors in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and data collection was complete by the end of October 2009.

Click here for survey results