Evaluation of food protection and defense outreach education programs: Food science education research

John M. Shutske, Jennifer Pierquet, Laura Michel, Ruth Rasmussen, Debra K Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This analysis documents the outcomes and impacts from a series of food protection and defense educational programs conducted over a 3-y period for private and public sector food system professionals. Several measures were used to determine the professions of participants; their improvements in skills and abilities that resulted from workshops; the audiences' most valued program content; practice changes resulting from educational program participation; abilities to recognize and change food system vulnerabilities; and changes in knowledge levels. Findings indicate that the knowledge level and interest within the target audience progressed over the 3-y period from basic awareness level through more complex and higher order skills and competencies such as being able to walk through a food production, processing, distribution, or retail facility and identify specific vulnerabilities and make specific risk control recommendations. Pre- and posttest scores from the 3rd y of educational activities indicate that baseline awareness levels of core content on food protection and defense is now high among those most likely to attend these types of events, and that participants need to be challenged with additional higher-level education to promote specific skills. This program series proved successful in building important relationships among food industry and regulatory partners. Analysis of the food security investigation (FSI) series will be useful in the development and delivery of new education and outreach efforts. It is hoped that the analysis and discussion will provide the motivation to further develop a set of competencies that can be used to ground educational efforts that focus on securing and defending our food system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Science Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


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