Food handling behaviors of special importance for pregnant women, infants and young children, the elderly, and immune-compromised people

J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Dec;103(12):1646-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2003.09.027.


This study used a Web-based Delphi process with a group of nationally recognized food safety experts to identify food-handling behaviors of special importance in reducing the risk of foodborne illness among pregnant women, infants and young children, elderly people, and people with compromised immune systems because of disease or pharmacologic therapy. Behaviors were related to 13 pathogens. Top-rated behaviors for pregnant women were associated with Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, and Salmonella species. Top-rated behaviors for infants and young children, elderly people, and immune-compromised people were associated with a number of different pathogens. The results should help dietetics professionals and community health educators focus their efforts on those behaviors of special importance to the population being targeted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Cooking / standards
  • Cross Infection
  • Female
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Handling / standards
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Parasitology
  • Foodborne Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors