Foodborne illness outbreaks in the foodservice industry are a continuing health problem. An official statistical report published by the CDC(1988) about foodbome disease from 1983 to 1987, foodservice establishments accounted for 77 percent of the reported foodborne illness outbreaks. This report also listed Chinese food and fried rice as two major vehicles of foodborne illnesses. The main reason for all reported foodborne bacterial illness was improper temperature control of food. Public perception of poor sanitary conduction in Chinese restaurants is an ever present problem. The purpose of the study was to survey Chinese restaurants in Rochester area to access the extent of food sanitation training of employees(cooks, kitchen staffs and servers). The findings in the study were based upon primary research conducted through surveying(telephone interviews and personal interviews) and observation. The sample was selected from Chinese restaurant listings of official Rochester Telephone Yellow Pages of 1991 and Rochester City Directory of 1991. From the sample of 53 Chinese restaurants, 40(75.5%) participated in this study; seven refused to participate and six were out of business. The survey results showed that the average numbers seats were 118, 30(75%) were open a whole year(365 days), they were in business an average of 6 years, the main menu styles were Mandarin, Peking, Cantonese, Szechuan, and Hunan. Thirty-seven( 92.5%) restaurants purchased foods from local food distributors and 75% purchased seafood, dried foods and special Chinese ingredients from China Town in New York City. Almost all Chinese restaurants were family owned and operated businesses and the major workers were the owner's or manager's family members. The average full time and part time employees per restaurant numbered 6.3 persons and 2.4 persons. Sixty percent of the restaurants in Rochester had no food sanitation training of employees. The official records and survey results were different on the inspection frequency by health department. The official records showed that 5 restaurants which responded to the telephone survey, were reported as out of business, 19 restaurants had more inspections than were reported in survey, 7 restaurants that had training also had one to three public complaints, and 7 restaurants that had complaints provided no training. From the survey results, we could not find any direct correlation between food sanitation training of employees and inspection frequency by health department. Thus, food sanitation training of employees in Chinese restaurants was most likely ineffective. The study recommends all Chinese restaurant operators should realize how vulnerable they are to food safety hazards and be responsible for protecting customers from foodborne illness. Furthermore, they need to begin HACCP system, take self-inspection and train their employees in food sanitation principles and practices for safe food and preventing foodborne illness.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Food handling; Restaurants--Sanitation
Department, Program, or Center
School of Food, Hotel and Tourism Management (CAST)
Wu, Jing-Jing, "The Food sanitation and foodhandling training of employees in Chinese restaurants in Rochester , New York: A Pilot study" (1992). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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