Improper food safety practices cause numerous illnesses and cost Americans billions of dollars each year. The study reported here addressed food safety issues by analyzing data from surveys with 4-H youth about their food safety attitudes, behaviors, and preferred methods of educational delivery. Analyses of gender differences indicate that males and females have distinct attitudes, behaviors, and preferences, necessitating more tailored educational approaches. Youth are most interested in food safety information that is fun, interactive, and built around cooking demonstrations. 4-H staff and others in Extension can optimize youth learning and practice change by approaching food safety from this experiential perspective.

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