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MT4: Food Safety

Framework Component

Changes - Nutrition-Related Behavioral Changes

Indicator Description

Changes in individual and group behaviors that reflect MyPlate principles and are on the pathway to achieving the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.

Background and Context

The Dietary Guidelines prioritize personal food safety practices, including washing hands and surfaces often, avoiding cross-contamination, cooking to proper temperatures, and refrigerating foods promptly. Indicator MT4 measures food safety practices reported by participants before and after participation in a series of nutrition education classes. Poor food safety and personal hygiene practices contributes to food waste, spoilage, and the risk of foodborne illnesses. MT4 builds upon ST4 by assessing whether participants are making the behavioral changes they intended.

Outcome Measures

The number or percentage of participants reporting a food safety practice at home during the period assessed, the frequency, and the type of practice:

  • MT4a. Clean: wash hands and surfaces often
  • MT4b. Separate: don't cross-contaminate
  • MT4c. Cook: cook to proper temperatures
  • MT4d: Chill: refrigerate promptly

What to Measure

SNAP-Ed participants who increased one or more of the targeted food safety outcome behaviors during the period assessed. Choose at least one outcome measure from the list provided.

Land-grant Institutions that conduct Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) classes, as well as other Implementing Agencies measuring food safety practices, may find it practical and cost-effective to use the same EFNEP food safety questions in SNAP-Ed. Evaluators are also encouraged to measure the degree of correlation among the individual measures presented in this indicator.


Older adults, adults, adolescents, children, preschoolers and toddlers (via parents or child care providers)

Surveys and Data Collection Tools



Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

Visit the Fight BAC! Partnership for Food Safety Education -

Wardlow et al. 2012. EFNEP Behavior Checklist Review. Available from