Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Holly Levine


Although certain areas of Costa Rica have adequate resources to maintain proper food safety and handling practices, many poor, urban communities still struggle to maintain proper sanitation and hygiene. In developing countries, clean water is not always easy to access, and when it is available, it is in high demand and can be expensive. A frequent challenge that occurs when it comes to food safety is properly educating consumers on strategies for preventing bacterial contamination. In a country like Costa Rica that thrives on tourism, with food being a main attraction for visitors, it becomes a much greater challenge to maintain a prosperous economy that is fueled by tourism if those preparing and handling food are not taking the necessary measures to ensure it’s safe. Food handlers may know about hand washing, but effectively practicing it is usually ignored. As a developing nation, Costa Rica faces environmental hygiene challenges that may contribute to the battle against foodborne illnesses. Only through governmental regulation, compliance, and education programs being implemented in hospitals can people become better informed about food safety and how to practice safe food handling.