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Food Skills Questionnaire

A comprehensive tool for assessing food skills

Why Measure Food Skills?

Low food skills are barriers to healthy eating, while higher food preparation skills are associated with better diet quality including increased intake of vegetables and fruits; lower intake of calories, fat, and sugar; and lower intake of fast food, all of which are associated with reduced risk for diet-related chronic disease. Various programs and interventions have been developed to improve food skills; however, methodological limitations including non-experimental study designs, lack of follow-up data, and use of non-validated assessment tools highlight the need for more stringent study designs and development of validated measurement tools.

Survey Overview

Food Selection and Planning, Food Preparation, Food Safety and Storage

Measuring or quantifying food skills is challenging because there is no reference standard for comparison. Self-reported familiarity with cooking techniques was identified as a motivator for food preparation. Confidence in food preparation skills may influence purchasing behaviors and diet quality, and attitudes and beliefs affect the quantity, frequency, and time spent preparing food. Currently, validated surveys and scales measure only some aspects of food skills, such as food safety or self-reported technical cooking skills, and may not assess food skills as an overall construct. Others identified cooking skills as distinct from food skills. However, cooking skills would generally be identified as a component of food skills. Conversely, other surveys focus on nutrition literacy in the name of food literacy. Although nutrition literacy is important, it is only one aspect of food literacy.

Researchers at Brescia University College at Western University have developed a Food Skills Questionnaire (FSQ) a comprehensive tool for assessing food skills in three domains (Food Selection and Planning, Food Preparation, and Food Safety and Storage) in individuals or groups with basic to intermediate food skills. Researchers have also supplementary questions which can boost the assessment of food skills to an advanced level, although these haven’t been validated and can also provide a series of food-related behavioural and demographic questions which can be used in combination with the FSQ.

The FSQ shows strong potential for evaluating basic (e.g., peeling, chopping, slicing) to intermediate (e.g., meal planning) food skills in an effective and feasible manner. It can also capture changes in specific domains, allowing the development of more focused nutrition education and skills-based interventions. Ultimately, higher food skills in the population could result in increased intakes of vegetables and fruits and lower intakes of calories, fat, sugar, and fast food, potentially reducing the risk for chronic diseases.

Benefits, Advantages and Applications

  • Questionnaire provides an overall food skill score for each of the three domains: food selection and planning, food preparation, and food safety and storage
  • Strong content and face validity, strong test-retest reliability, and good inter-item reliability
  • Valid and reliable tool that can be used to evaluate basic to intermediate food skills
  • Use in various industries and sectors: food handling and food preparation programs, health units, restaurants, personal food skills assessment

Pricing Options

License for 1-100 Users


License for 1-300 Users


License for 1-500 Users


License for 1-1000 Users


License for 1-5000 Users


Our Partners

The Food Skills Questionaire was developed in partnership with:

Brescia Logo


Canada’s only women’s university, is committed to educating women to lead with wisdom, justice and compassion.

Western Logo


Since 1878, Western has delivered an academic experience second to none. Western challenges the best and brightest to commit to the highest global standards.
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The business development arm of London’s research network and the bridge between local invention and global industry.

Contact Us

We would be happy to work with your organization in using the Food Skills Questionaire. Reach out today!

Email Address




100 Collip Circle, Suite 105
London, Ontario N6G 4X8