Felix Zhou, MD1, Tyler Mullen, MD1, Tasha Kulai, MD1, Mohsin Rashid, MD2 1Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada; 2IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada
Introduction: Individuals with celiac disease (CD) and other gluten-related disorders require a strict gluten-free diet (GFD). If ever admitted to hospital, they rely on food handlers for provision of safe, uncontaminated gluten-free meals. Previous studies have assessed knowledge of CD and GFD in restaurant chefs, dietitians, and physicians. However, there is no such research on food service personnel in health care institutions such as hospitals. We aimed to assess the basic knowledge of GFD and food preparation practices amongst individuals involved in making meals for patients in hospital.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed with 10 demographic items and 35 test items to assess knowledge of GFD including practical workplace scenarios encountered in food preparation. The questionnaire was developed by members of the research team, which included adult and pediatric gastroenterologists and dietitians with expertise in GFD. Further guidance was obtained from chefs, patients with CD and parents of children with CD. A score of 28 out of 35 (80%) was set as a Pass. Subjects were recruited from food handling services of two tertiary care, university-affiliated hospitals and included cooks, utility workers, dietary technicians and supervisors.
Results: A total of 72 individuals completed the study, mean age 40.3±1.6 years, 75% female. Only 42 (56.8%) scored a Pass. The average test score was 75.9±13.4% (26.6 out of 35), range 25.7-100%. The supervisors (87.9±11.4%) had significantly higher scores than utility workers (73.0±11.4%, p=0.01) and cooks (71.7±14.5%; p=0.01), but similar to scores of dietary technicians (87.1±8.0%, p=1.0). Cooks had the lowest scores and highest fail rate (80%). There was a significant difference in scores between male and female participants (68.8 vs 77.8%; p=0.02).
Disclosures: Felix Zhou indicated no relevant financial relationships. Tyler Mullen indicated no relevant financial relationships. Tasha Kulai indicated no relevant financial relationships. Mohsin Rashid indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Felix Zhou, MD1, Tyler Mullen, MD1, Tasha Kulai, MD1, Mohsin Rashid, MD2. P0917 - Assessment of Knowledge of Gluten-Free Diet Amongst Food Handlers in Hospitals, ACG 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. Las Vegas, Nevada: American College of Gastroenterology.