Date of this Version
J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, DOI 10.1007/s40615-015-0190-z
Children are at increased risk for foodborne illness due to underdeveloped immune system. Limited research has been reported on food safety knowledge of Native American families with children 10 years of age and younger. This study was conducted to determine the food safety knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of the main food preparer in these families by collecting quantitative and qualitative data simultaneously in a mixed method approach. A food safety knowledge survey created using FightBAC!™ concepts was administered prior to focus groups discussions held in Native American communities using a script based upon the Health Belief Model. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS. Qualitative data were coded by three reviewers independently and then compared jointly for themes. Over three fourths of participants (n = 102) were female with an average age of 38.3 years. Over one half of participants were unemployed (54 %), lived on reservations (54 %), and 86 % had a high school degree or higher level of education. The following four themes emerged from the eight focus groups (n=66): food can make one sick, I am not in control when others handle food, I know how to safely prepare foods for my family, and I do not have time or best equipment (for food safety). Mixed method analysis revealed that participants were aware of the severity and susceptibility for foodborne illness but were confident in preparing foods safely for their family. A food safety education program for Native American food preparers with young children is needed to prevent foodborne illness (FBI) in this population and promote safe food handling practice.