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Public worry about specific food safety issues

Public worry about specific food safety issues 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/00070700410515172
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2004

Keywords: Food safety; Risk analysis; Public opinion; Consumer behaviour

References

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