Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Mildred M. Cody, PhD, RD - Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Murugi Ndirangu, PhD - Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Barbara Hopkins, MMSc, RD, LD - Committee Member


Purpose: Teaching consumers proper home food safety practices is an important strategy to combat foodborne illness. Food safety educators with limited resources must do a cost-versus-benefit analysis before choosing the optimum medium to reach their target audiences. The objectives of this research were to determine whether presenting food safety information in a video format was more effective than text-only in terms of audience recall of the information one week later; to determine whether an intervention in text or video form increased students’ knowledge of food safety information as compared to no intervention at all; and to identify certain demographic factors that could have influenced performance on a food safety quiz. Methods: One hundred thirty-three Georgia State University undergraduate students were assigned to one of three groups. One group viewed a food safety video (n=59), a second group received the same information in text-only form (n=41), and the third group (n=33) served as the control and received no intervention. Students filled out a demographic questionnaire and completed a pre-intervention and post-intervention food safety knowledge test. Average scores were calculated, and the data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 for Windows. Results: There was no significant difference between pre-intervention test scores among the three groups (p=.057). The video group scored significantly higher on the post-intervention test (p=.006) than the text group and the control group (p<.001). The video group (p<.001) and text group (p<.001) both scored significantly higher on the post-intervention quiz than the pre-intervention quiz, but the control group did not (p=.466). Video was superior to text overall and in conveying basic food safety principles; however, students in the text group demonstrated a better recall of more detailed food safety information such as proper internal cooking temperatures for poultry and ground beef. Previous food safety education in the classroom or online was found to be the only significant predictor of better performance on the pre-intervention test (p=.004). Conclusion: Video is more effective than text when used to deliver simple, direct food safety messages. More detailed information, such as proper internal cooking temperatures, might be best delivered in text form. Consumers are likely to benefit most from a multimedia approach to food safety education that includes videos, accompanying brochures, and Web site content.

stokes_charlotte_e_200912_master2.pdf (800 kB)