The purpose of this study was to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning food safety issues among food handlers in Turkey, conducting face to face interview and administrating questionnaire. Of the 764 food handlers who responded, 9.6% were involved in touching or distributing unwrapped foods routinely and use protective gloves during their working activity. A majority of participants (47.8%) had not taken a basic food safety training. The mean food safety knowledge scores was 43.4 +/- 16.3. The study demonstrated that food handlers in Turkish food businesses often have lack of knowledge regarding the basic food hygiene (critical temperatures of hot or cold ready-to-eat foods, acceptable refrigerator temperature ranges, and cross-contamination etc.). There is a immediate need for education and increasing awareness among food handlers regarding safe food handling practices. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.