Date of Conferral





Health Services


Daniel Okenu


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people throughout the world become sick every year from consuming contaminated foods, which impacts countries’ socioeconomic development, straining their healthcare system, travel and tourism, and foreign trade markets. To help alleviate the impact foodborne illness (FBI) has on society, scholars suggest physicians incorporate food safety in their standard work practice. The purpose of this study was to determine if Harlem Hospital physicians utilized food safety knowledge in comprehensive patient care with a diagnosis of FBI, in addition to how physicians passed this food safety information onto the patient. A qualitative methodology using an interpretive description approach was used to determine 52 physicians' utilization of food safety accompanied by Slotnick four-stage theory of physician’s learning as the study’s theoretical foundation. The study found that Harlem Hospital medicine and ICU physicians were more knowledgeable in FBI than other hospital physicians, and even though physicians’ definitions of FBI were different, all physicians' answers corresponded with the behaviors of clean, separate cook and chill. The research concludes Harlem Hospital physicians know how to diagnose and treat patients with FBI, and physicians acquired their knowledge of food safety through multiple resources. The study also found the physicians do not always include food safety in comprehensive patient care. However, all physicians agreed patients should be educated in food safety to prevent its reoccurrence. When physicians provide education at the bedside, this may help increase patient awareness in food safety, reducing hospital readmission rates, leading to a positive social change.