Researchers from Kansas State University have found that independently-owned ethnic restaurants have a considerably higher number of food safety violations than their non-ethnic counterparts, in a new study.
The researchers studied independently owned restaurants in 14 Kansas counties to come up with their findings.
Leading the study were Junehee Kwon, associate professor, and Kevin Roberts, assistant professor, both of the department of hospitality management and dietetics.
The violations for food safety included time and temperature control, hand washing and proper use of utensils.
It was also seen that the independent ethnic restaurants had more inspections than the non-ethnic restaurants. According to Kwon, many of those repeat visits were driven by customer complaints.
Kwon said: "There are some challenges to ethnic restaurants.
"We can't tell what they are yet. We don't know what operators know and think about opening a restaurant in the United States and following the regulations. It's likely they have different perceptions of the risk of inadequate food safety, as well as the language barrier."
The researchers are now pursuing funds to study the barriers that keep employees from understanding and practicing food safety techniques.
Roberts said: "What we want to do with the new project, should it be funded, is to look at whether it is a cultural thing and learn what we can do in food training programs.
"Now, programs only deal with knowledge, but it doesn't persuade people to change their behaviors."
The current research will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Food Protection Trends.