Background: Foodborne diseases due to improper food handling in home kitchens are among the most significant public health challenges worldwide.
Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate food safety knowledge and selfreported practices among Saudi women.
Methods: A total of 1490 women, aged between 18 and 60 years participated in this online survey. Collected and cured data were analyzed using descriptive statistics via the SPSS software. Chi-square (X2) test was performed to identify associations between variables. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Participants showed an overall knowledge score of 16.53±2.8/23 points (72%). About 4.5%, 57.5% and 38% had low, intermediate and good knowledge scores, respectively. Women had higher scores of knowledge in personal hygiene (5.2±0.8/6 points) and purchasing and storage (5.8±1.2/8 points) compared to food preparation and cooking (4.5±1.8/8 points). The overall practice score was 35.50±5.53/50 points (71%). About 7%, 52% and 41% of the participants exhibited low, intermediate and good practices scores, respectively. Participants’ practice scores of personal hygiene, utensils and equipment, purchasing and storage, and preparation and cooking were 11.10±2.33/15, 6.38±1.47/8, 8.72±1.84/12 and 9.30±2.08/15, respectively. Among the participants’ characteristics, women aged 26 years and older, those having marriage experience and those with children had significantly higher food safety knowledge (p<0.001) than the young, single and women without children. Moreover, women with higher levels of education and those employed in health-related professions showed significantly higher knowledge and practice scores than their counterparts (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: This study reported an intermediate overall food safety knowledge and practices among most adult Saudi women. Therefore, further targeted public education programs focusing mainly on food preparation and cooking are recommended to enhance women’s food safety knowledge and practices and thereby improve overall public health.