A mixed-method approach to investigate Ontario public health inspectors' food safety perceptions and information needs
This thesis investigated the perceptions and self-identified needs of public health inspectors (PHIs) in Ontario, Canada, with regards to food safety issues and information resources between June 2008 and June 2009. A mixed-method approach using four focus group discussions and an online survey of 239 PHIs was employed for data collection. The majority of participants reported confidence with their current knowledge of key food safety issues and foodborne pathogens, and indicated the need for: a central, online resource for food safety information; resources in additional languages; additional food safety information on specialty foods (i.e., foods from different cultures); ongoing food safety education and training for PHIs; and to learn about new and emerging food safety topics and issues at an educational workshop. The data collected can be used to develop information resources that will meet the specific needs of PHIs involved in protecting and promoting a safe food supply.