Consumers may encounter a number of potential food hazards through their food choice decisions and consumption behaviour. It is psychologically determined risk perceptions that drive acceptance of such potential food hazards, and define people's risk‐taking or self‐protective behaviours. As such, it is necessary to understand exactly what consumers are worried about. Food issues of concern to consumers were identified in a previous exploratory focus group study. A list of 18 food safety issues was developed for the purpose of the study reported here, with the aim of comparing worry about the different issues and investigating any demographic differences. Factor analysis indicated that attitudes to the 18 food safety issues reflected two underlying constructs, the first relating to technological food issues and the second to lifestyle food issues. In general, people were more worried about technological food hazards compared to lifestyle hazards. Demographic differences were observed for gender, age and social class, but not for geographical region, or having children; furthermore, experience of food allergy or intolerance increased worry about technological issues.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2004
Keywords: Food safety; Risk analysis; Public opinion; Consumer behaviour
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