I am a Professor in Hospitality Management. I teach food-related topics, including innovation and new product development, and my research focuses on consumer behaviour in the context of food. This has included healthy eating behaviours in foodservice settings, food hygiene behaviours in the home and also of food handlers in the foodservice sector, and the role of food in the tourism product. I am a founding member of the University Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre.
University roles and responsibilities
- Professor of Hospitality Management
- Hospitality research lead
Affiliations and memberships
Consumer behaviour linked to choice to food, particularly in hospitality or tourism settings, and also hygiene-related behaviour of both consumers and those working in the food sector.
I am a founding member of the University's Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Group, which includes researchers from Psychology, Biological Sciences and Management.
Anita has ongoing collaboration with the University of Oxford in relation to the study investigating the impact of nutrition on behaviour in prisons.
Indicators of esteem
Member on the FSA list of experts - Social Science Committee
Anita was an invited member of British Nutrition Foundation-led group (FSA-funded) for improving the nutrition education of catering students.
Postgraduate research supervision
I am currently supervising 6 research students, studying a variety of topics, most related to food. Topics have included an investigation of the socio-cultural meaning of food waste when eating out in China; the importance of food as a part of the airline offer; the importance of food perceptions in intention to revisit Thailand, hygiene behaviours of those working in the food industry and the role of social media when eating out.
I have had 19 students complete their PhDs.
- New product development
- Contributions to other modules relating to sensory and consumer science and food hygiene.
- Dissertation supervision.
An important element in the effectiveness of food hygiene training is the support given by managers, both pre and post training, to motivate food handlers to enact the safe food handling practices learnt during training. This study explores the personal views of food handlers, their managers, and accredited training providers towards the provision and evaluation of food hygiene training in the South-West London region, exploring the pre and post training support given to food handlers, and its effects on the attitude and behaviour of food handlers to enact safe food handling practices in the workplace. In total seventy telephone interviews were conducted. Findings demonstrate that most food industry managers are aware of their responsibilities to train food handlers, but often do not provide adequate support to promote the enactment of safe food handling practices, or evaluate its effectiveness. Thus, any positive effects gained from food hygiene training programmes, are ephemeral.
Adoption of safe food handling practices is essential to effectively manage food safety. This study explores the impact of basic or foundation level food hygiene training on the attitudes and intentions of food handlers in care settings, using questionnaires based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Interviews were also conducted with food handlers and their managers to ascertain beliefs about the efficacy of, perceived barriers to, and relevance of food hygiene training. Most food handlers had undertaken formal food hygiene training; however, many who had not yet received training were preparing food, including high risk foods. Appropriate pre-training support and on-going supervision appeared to be lacking, thus limiting the effectiveness of training. Findings showed Subjective Norm to be the most significant influence on food handlers' intention to perform safe food handling practices, irrespective of training status, emphasising the role of important others in determining desirable behaviours.
Children from secondary schools in the UK selected from photographs, dishes for the meal they would be most likely to choose and the meal they perceived to be the most healthy. They gave reasons for their choices. The nutritional value of the two sets of meals was compared and the reasons for choice were analysed qualitatively. There was an inverse relationship between the foods most likely to be chosen, and those that were perceived to be the most healthy. Although the children's nutritional knowledge was sound, choices were made more on the basis of convenience and taste than on the 'healthiness' of the food. The 'preferred' meals were in most respects less healthy than the 'healthy' meals. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
The provision of food and drinks to patients remains a largely unexplored, multidimensional phenomenon. In an attempt to ameliorate this lack of understanding, a survey utilising a modified SERVQUAL instrument measured on a seven-point Likert scale was carried out on-site at four NHS acute trusts for the purpose of assessing the perceptions and expectations of meal attributes and their importance in determining patient satisfaction. The results of factor analysis found three dimensions: food properties, interpersonal service, and environmental presentation, with a high reliability (Cronbach's alpha from 0.9191 to 0.7836). Path analysis further established sophisticated causal relations with patient satisfaction. The food dimension was found to be the best predictor of patient satisfaction among the three dimensions, while the interpersonal service dimension was not found to have any correlation with satisfaction. Bridging the gaps that exist between perceptions and expectations can improve the quality of meal services for the purpose of maximising patient satisfaction and ultimately aiding in patient recovery.
Objective To gain an understanding of children's perceptions of the healthiness of foods commonly served at school lunches and how these relate to their preferences in order to assist school caterers and those involved in nutrition education to help children to choose a nutritionally balanced meal. Design A quantitative study whereby 123 9 to 11-year-old children ranked the perceived healthiness of foods and their preference for the same foods, supplemented by qualitative descriptions of reasons for preference or perceived healthiness. Setting Interviews were carried out within the child's school. A total of 14 schools in the south-east of England took part. Method Data were collected in a one-to-one interview with each child. Photographs of foods commonly served for school lunches were used for the ranking of preference and perceived healthiness. Ranked data were analysed using Wilcoxon's Pairs Signed Rank test and qualitative data were analysed by assigning them to categories. Results Children were found to have a clear perception of the healthiness or otherwise of the foods and nutritional knowledge was generally sound except for some difficulty in identifying 'invisible' fat. Any understanding of the relationship between foods or nutrients and health was only occasionally evident, as was the idea of moderation or balance. It was also found that there was a strong inverse relationship between children's perceptions of the healthiness of foods and their preferences for them. Taste and texture were much more important influences on food choice than perceived healthiness. Conclusion Teaching about food in primary schools needs to focus on helping children of this age make balanced food choices. It was suggested that the 'tilted plate' model, adapted to use foods that children frequently eat and enjoy, could be the basis of such teaching. Such a model could also be used to help caterers plan menus and as the basis of co-operation between nutrition educators and caterers.
This study empirically tests a conceptual model of local food consumption proposed by Kim et al. (2009) and examines relationships among the key factors found in the model. This study quantitatively identified factors affecting local food consumption: five motivations (cultural experience, interpersonal relationship, excitement, health concern, and sensory appeal); food-related personality traits (food neophobia and food involvement); and 'demographic factors' (i.e., gender, age, and annual income) and their relationships. This study showed that demographic variables (gender and age) were related to some motivational factors and significant differences in the FNG associated with gender, age and income. © 2012.
This study explores how ethnic restaurants serve their role as ‘tourism at home’, by investigating customers’ motivation to visit ethnic restaurants, especially in relation to tourism. This study adopted a grounded theory approach, using semi-structured interviews composed of two phases. The first phase of interviews was conducted with 18 British people who had experienced at least one of the four ethnic restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Korean. The second phase of interviews was conducted with 12 British people who were actually visiting one of the origin countries of those restaurants, Korea, to see if people share the same motivation to visit ethnic restaurants as travel motivation. Six common motivational factors between visiting ethnic restaurants and travel (i.e., to change/ escape from the routine, to experience something new/ different, to experience and learn about another culture, curiosity/ desire to explore unknown, togetherness, and travelling itself) were established through findings, and the relationships between motivation to visit ethnic restaurants and tourism, and how they influence each other were identified.
This book explories the marketing trends for organic food products through the analysis of those elements that contribute to the expansion of the organic ...
Purpose: This study investigated how presence of other customers in restaurant social settings becomes a resource (referred to as “customer-to-customer interaction” or “C2CI”) to co-create an escape dining experience and stimulate dining outcomes, namely, food attachment and dining frequency. The relationships are further tested under the effects of regional economic conditions. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected by using a multi-step approach. The first dataset was obtained through a personally administered survey, which included a sample of 356 Chinese tourists who dined at fine Western (i.e., Portuguese) restaurants in Macau. The second dataset concerned economic statistics and was obtained from the statistics departments of mainland China and Taiwan. A multilevel design with hierarchical linear modeling was used to test the proposed model. Multilevel mediating and moderating effects were also examined. Findings: Results suggest that customer escape dining experience significantly mediated the relationship between C2CI and food attachment, while food attachment fully mediated the relationship between customer escape experience and dining frequency. The multilevel effect of regional economic conditions played a significant role in moderating the C2CI–escape experience relationship in that the effect of C2CI was more salient for tourists from less economically developed regions in China. The experience–food attachment relationship was also contingent on the regional economic conditions in that the relationship was stronger for tourists from less economically developed areas. A multilevel mediating effect was also presented in the study. Practical implications: The restaurant management should realize how C2CI, as a resource beyond management control, can become a resource for customers to co-create an escape dining experience. This escape experience contributes to the frequency of consumption of a certain cuisine through attachment with the food.
Based on career construction theory, the predictors of human resource managers’ strategic competence in the Chinese context were examined. Results from a survey administered to Chinese HR managers (N = 220) showed that professional identification, career variety and organizational support for strategic human resource management positively predicted Chinese human resource managers’ strategic competence. In addition, career adaptability served as a significant mediator for the above relations. The results further showed that the effect of professional identification on career adaptability was stronger among employees who perceived a higher (vs. lower) level of organizational support for strategic human resource management. The corresponding moderated mediation model was also supported such that the indirect effect of professional identification on strategic competence was stronger among employees who perceived a higher (vs. lower) level of organizational support for strategic human resource management. These findings carry implications for career construction theory and human resource managers’ career development in China.
Purpose - The purpose of this research is to show the evaluation of food hygiene knowledge and self-reported behaviours of school children, assessment of children's attitudes towards food hygiene and evaluation of barriers to the adoption of appropriate food hygiene behaviours. Design/methodology/approach - The food hygiene knowledge and self-reported behaviours of pupils (4 and 14 years; Key Stages 1-3 in the English system - or Scottish equivalent) were determined using age-appropriate knowledge quizzes completed by 2,259 pupils across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Attitudes towards food hygiene and barriers to performing desirable hygiene-related behaviours were established through semi-structured interviews with 82 pupils who completed knowledge tasks in South East England. Findings - Children generally had good knowledge of food hygiene. However, there were misconceptions about the nature of micro-organisms and how they affect food. In addition, a lack of reminders and practical food activities, especially at Key Stage 2 (7-11 years), coupled with poor hand-washing facilities, meant that children did not always adopt desirable behaviours. Children gave suggestions for ways to help others to remember good practice. Originality/value - The study identified areas of weakness in pupils' hygiene knowledge and understanding and has determined barriers to adoption of desirable behaviours at all times. It has also suggested ways in which food hygiene education could be made more engaging for pupils, and other methods to encourage good practice.
This study explores the motivational dimensions underlying food consumption in tourism, and to examine the effects of two food-related personality traits, namely food neophobia and variety-seeking, on these motivational dimensions. A tourist food consumption motivational scale was developed and seven motivational dimensions were identified: novelty and variety, authentic experience and prestige, interpersonal and culture, price/value and assurance, health concern, familiarity and eating habit, and sensory and contextual pleasure. Both food neophobia and variety-seeking were found to have significant effects on various motivational dimensions. The implications of the findings for practice and future research are discussed.
Increasing competition in hospitality is one of the industry challenges, which depends mainly on human capital. Thus, this research investigated the relationship between human resources practices, employee motivation, and online hotel reviews. Hypotheses were tested using two-phase survey data collected from 308 respondents corresponding to 154 dyads of frontline employees and human resources managers from hotels located in Brazil and England. Quantitative online hotel review ratings were collected from the surveyed hotels as performance indicators. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to examine the data collected. Employee intrinsic motivation negatively influenced online hotel review ratings. The online hotel review overall ratings were positively affected by extrinsic motivation. Likewise, human resources practices had a strong influence on the online hotel review service ratings. This study presented some insights to hospitality organizations, identifying relationships among three important topics on hotel management. This information can help hoteliers develop better competitive strategies, using human resources to increase online hotel review ratings, considered critical hotel performance indicators.
This review summarises the methods and results of studies conducted worldwide on the effectiveness of food safety and food hygiene training in the commercial sector of the food industry. In particular it focuses on those studies that have tried to evaluate the effectiveness of such training. Forty-six studies of food hygiene training are included which used some outcome measure to assess the effectiveness of training. The short-term nature and variety of measures used limited the majority of studies. The need for the development of evaluation criteria of effectiveness of food hygiene training is discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In-flight catering is a central part of these strategies at all levels: be they customer satisfaction, marketing, operations or logistics.
Background There is evidence that offenders consume diets lacking in essential nutrients and this could adversely affect their behaviour. Aims To test empirically if physiologically adequate intakes of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids cause a reduction in antisocial behaviour. Method Experimental, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial of nutritional supplements on 231 young adult prisoners, comparing disciplinary offences before and during supplementation. Results Compared with placebos, those receiving the active capsules committed an average of 26.3% (95% CI 8.3-44.33%) fewer offences (P=0.03, two-tailed). Compared to baseline, the effect on those taking active supplements for a minimum of 2 weeks (n=172) was an average 35.1% (95% CI 16.3-53.9%) reduction of offences (P < 0.001, two-tailed), whereas placebos remained within standard error. Conclusions Antisocial behaviour in prisons, including violence, are reduced by vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids with similar implications for those eating poor diets in the community Declaration of interest The research was supported by a grant from the research charity Natural justice (see Acknowledgements) and managed from the University of Surrey Scotia Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Unigreg Ltd supplied nutritional supplements.
Previous research on tourist food consumption acknowledges that food-related personality traits, including neophilic and neophobic tendencies, can impede or encourage tourists to try novel food at a destination. However, the travel motivation literature advocates that tourists tend to be in a general condition of seeking novel experiences, including sampling a destination’s novel food. How food-related personality traits interact with novelty pursuits to influence tourists’ food consumption and subsequent satisfaction and travel outcomes remains unknown. The study proposes a framework of tourist food experience that leads from food-related personality traits, novel food consumption, and satisfaction to travel outcomes. While the results support the baseline model, the moderating effect of novelty seeking demonstrates that novelty seeking does not moderate the relationship between personality traits and consumption of novel food. It does, however, moderate satisfaction with food.
This study explored experiences of implementation and operation of hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) in the foodservice sector through in-depth interviews with seven foodservice outlets in the South East of England. Experiences highlighted a number of barriers to the successful implementation and operation of HACCP, and also perceived benefits. Barriers included difficulties identifying hazards, inadequate knowledge, time-related issues relating to monitoring and recording, excessive documentation, convincing staff of the importance of the system, and increased costs. Perceived benefits included protecting the business from otherwise unforeseen problems and providing evidence of 'due diligence'. There was, however, an attitude of compliance, rather than true recognition of the value of the system. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper is part of a special issue of JCB devoted to work on creativity and food, guest edited by Dr. Paul Sowden, Dr. Anita Eves, and Professor Monique Raats, that follows on from the 2014 International Workshop on Understanding and Fostering Creativity in the Kitchen, held at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Surrey, UK. All articles have been peer reviewed by two reviewers.
Purpose - The purpose of this research is to show how a nation-wide survey of teachers investigated the teaching of food hygiene in primary schools. The survey determined which information sources were known and used by those responsible for teaching food hygiene. Design/methodology/approach - Postal questionnaires were distributed to 3,806 primary schools throughout the UK (response rate 23 per cent). The questionnaire was developed based on the results of in-depth interviews with school teachers and included topics such as where teachers gained up-to-date food hygiene messages, methods used to teach food hygiene, and how key food hygiene messages are reinforced. Teachers cited most preferred resources for teaching food hygiene, influences on the choice of these resources, and limitations on use. Findings - Overall, the results indicated that food hygiene is taught in a number of subject areas, with handwashing and personal hygiene being the principal topics. Teachers use a combination of methods to teach food hygiene and to reinforce food safety messages. The principal limitations of teaching this topic were identified as a lack of suitable space and curriculum time Teachers across the UK also identified new resources that would support the teaching of food hygiene. Originality/value - The study identified how primary school teachers deliver food hygiene messages through the curriculum, daily routines and whole school initiatives. Ways in which primary school teachers could be supported when delivering food hygiene education have been suggested.
This study evaluates the influences on food handlers’ intention to conduct safe handling behaviours in food service settings in Brazil and the United Kingdom, focusing on Optimistic bias (OB). Although OB has been identified in food handlers in other studies, this is the first study evaluating the role of OB in determining behavioural intention. Three hundred participants, from the United Kingdom (n=150) and Brazil (n=150), completed a Theory of Planned Behaviour – based questionnaire, including additional questions about OB. For Brazilian food handlers, Attitude had a significant influence on Behavioural Intention followed by Subjective Norm, while Perceived Behavioural Control and OB did not significantly influence Behavioural Intention. For the United Kingdom, Perceived Behavioural Control had the largest influence, followed by Attitude, and then OB. Results suggest that cultural differences may influence predictors of behavioural intention, and that OB can contribute to predicting engagement in safe handling behaviours. Results contribute to a better understanding of the influences on food safety related behaviours.
This research draws on the geographical concept of situated lay-knowledge to highlight how the formation of tourists’ attitudes to travel destinations challenges the theoretical foundation of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). It suggests that situated lay knowledge is dynamic as opposed to static, which is the accepted basis of TPB, and subsequently, proposes a “Situated Lay-Knowledge Travel Behavior Model” (SLKTB). The model was tested in a mixed methods approach where Chinese tourists, who knew little about Portugal, encountered Portuguese culture and cuisine in Macau. The overall results demonstrate that the formation of tourists’ attitudes about travel destinations is not preexisting or static but dynamic and created from their ongoing encounters.