Food safety for consumers presented by programmed instruction

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This study investigated the effectiveness of teaching basic food safety principles by programmed instruction for consumers. A linear-type programmed text was developed and evaluated.

The difference between initial behavior and terminal behavior of subjects using the programmed text was assessed in relation to the terminal objectives of the programmed material. The terminal objectives of the programmed material were expressed in a criterion test used as a pretest and post-test.

The criterion test and programmed text were administered to 2 groups of consumers consisting of 20 subjects and 17 subjects, respectively. A positive change in scores between the pretest and post-test was significant at the 0.001 level for both groups.

The error rate of the programmed text was within the specified 10 per cent level. The maximum time required to complete the programmed text was estimated to be 1 hour.

The results obtained indicated that food safety could be taught effectively to consumers through programmed instruction.