Avaliação do conhecimento e das práticas relativas à doença celíaca por parte do pessoal dos refeitórios das escolas do município de Santa Maria da Feira

  • Joana Sofia Ferreira Alves (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Given the importance of the Gluten-Free Diet and its scrupulous compliance in relieving the symptoms of the disease and also in improving the quality of life of celiac patients, family members of celiac children are highly concerned about mealtimes at school. For that reason, it is crucial to assess whether those involved in the meal service are capable of preparing and providing a safe meal for a celiac patient. Objectives: To assess the knowledge of employees working in school canteens in the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira and also to evaluate the application of this knowledge on a daily basis in order to provide safe gluten-free meals. Methodology: This work encompassed three components: 1) evaluating knowledge about celiac disease (CD) in a group of employees from public school canteens in the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira, 2) measuring the impact of training on increasing the knowledge of the same employees, and 3) verifying "on-site" the procedures followed in the canteens to truly provide gluten-free meals. In data analysis, a descriptive analysis was carried out, using absolute and relative frequencies, as well as an inferential analysis, using the chi-square test or Fisher's exact test, as appropriate. In all hypothesis tests, a significance level of 5% was considered. Results: Statistically significant differences were observed in the questionnaires completed before and after training, in questions relating to the characterization of the disease (p=0.002), allowed foods (p=0.035), the organ involved in CD (p<0.001), and also cereals containing gluten (p<0.001). A significant increase in knowledge was also found regarding the reception and checking of packaging (p=0.013), the storage of products with and without gluten (p<0.001), and the relationship between a buffet service and a celiac patient (p<0.001). In the checklist, the predominance of adequate checks over inadequate ones was notable. Conclusions: The result about the participants' CD knowledge demonstrated that it is necessary to focus on continuous training, both in the classroom context and in field training, in order to reach the largest number of employees possible and to increasingly consolidate knowledge. The training administered did not prove to be sufficient to acquire all the necessary knowledge; however, the results regarding the participants' practices and training revealed that they know how to act.
Date of Award3 Oct 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorElisabete Pinto (Supervisor)


  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten-free diet
  • School canteens
  • School canteen employees


  • Mestrado em Biotecnologia e Inovação

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