Kitchen Workers Score Dreadfully on Food Safety Test

August 30, 2011

An alarming new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago finds that the average kitchen worker can only answer 72 percent of food safety questions correctly— a score that is the equivalent of a low C on a test. 

The researchers interviewed 372 food service workers. Of that group, just half answered more than 70 percent correctly. People with additional responsibilities— like a manager or supervisor— fared slightly better. They answered 77 percent of questions correctly. 35 percent of that group scored lower than 70 percent. 

That last fact is of particular concern because managers are in charge of educating other food service employees about safety practices. Among the questions many got wrong. 

  1. 1. True or false: Beef may be placed in the microwave to defrost. (Answer is true, but 65.3 of respondents said false.)
  2. 2. True or false: Raw meat can be stored anywhere in a refrigerator as long as it is wrapped in plastic. (Answer is false, but 56 percent said true.)
  3. 3. Yes or no: eating ground meat that is not completely cooked can cause bloody diarrhea (Answer is yes, but 36.8 said no.)

What do you make of these findings? 

Image Sources:



Megan's picture

Not surprised. Kitchen staff are usually the lowest paid. More than once I've heard people say something along the lines of 'I don't get paid enough to care' in jobs like that.

Also, if nobody knows how to handle meat maybe it makes a good case for people to open more vegan restaurants? Hehe. :)