A tailored food safety and hygiene training approach for dairy farmers in an emerging dairy chain

James Ledo, Kasper A. Hettinga, Jos Bijman, Jamal Kussaga, Pieternel A. Luning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Improvement in the knowledge level of dairy farmers and the performance of on-farm safety and hygiene practices in emerging dairy chains is repeatedly recommended. However, appropriate training interventions to help farmers is not yet fully explored. Behaviour change theories to design training to improve knowledge and explore drivers of safety and hygiene control performance have been found useful in food service settings but were not yet tested in dairy farming. This study aimed to develop a training intervention based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and analyze its effectiveness in influencing drivers of dairy farmers’ behaviour to perform safety and hygiene control practices. Three teaching and learning methods were adopted: 1) slides and group discussions, 2) videos, pictures and story analysis, and 3) practical demonstrations. A total of 107 dairy farmers participated in a three-day training programme. Measuring at pre-training and post-training, we found that the knowledge level of most farmers improved. The number of farmers with a positive intention to perform specific pre- and post-milking practices such as hand washing, teat dipping, cleaning the shed, and milk storage in clean containers was higher post-training. Multiple linear regression analysis of the TPB model explained 25% of the variance of the intention to perform personal hygiene, 18% of the udder and teat care, 10% of the shed and floor sanitation, and 16% of milk cooling and storage practices. Also, the perceived pressure from others was a significant predictor of the intention to perform personal hygiene, udder and teat, and shed and floor sanitation practices. Thus, by using TPB as the underlying theory, we have unravelled the influence of subjective norm as a crucial factor in the performance of on-farm safety and hygiene control practices in societies where communal culture is dominant. Besides, this study adds to the scientific knowledge of the appropriate teaching and learning methods that could be applied for training farmers in developing dairy chains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107918
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Knowledge level
  • Milk cooling and storage
  • Personal hygiene
  • Shed and floor sanitation
  • Theory of planned behaviour
  • Udder and teat care

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