University of Hertfordshire

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By the same authors

Food safety and older people: the Kitchen Life study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)226-232
JournalBritish journal of community nursing
Journal publication dateMay 2014
Volume19
Issue5
Early online date28 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Abstract

Foodborne illness (FBI) is a major public health problem in the UK. Recent increases in cases of listeriosis in older people have focused attention on consumer food-related practices. Previous studies highlight poor relationships between what people know, what they say they do and what they actually do in the kitchen. The aim of the Kitchen Life study was to examine what actually happens in the domestic kitchen to assess whether and how this has the potential to influence food safety in the home. Drawing on a qualitative ethnographic approach, methods included a kitchen tour, photography, observation, video observation, informal interviews and diary methods. Ten households with older people (aged 60+) were recruited across the UK. It was found that trust in the food supply, use of food-labelling (including use-by dates), sensory logics (such as the feel or smell of food) and food waste were factors with the potential to influence risk of foodborne illness. Practices shifted with changing circumstances, including increased frailty, bereavement, living alone, receiving help with care and acquiring new knowledge, meaning that the risk of and vulnerability to foodborne illness is not straightforward.

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