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Consumer perceptions of best practice in food risk communication and management: Implications for risk analysis policy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD, Dr Arnout Fischer


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As a consequence of recent food safety incidents, consumer trust in European food safety management has diminished. A risk governance framework that formally institutes stakeholder (including consumer) consultation and dialogue through a transparent and accountable process has been proposed, with due emphasis on risk communication. This paper delivers actionable policy recommendations based on consumer preferences for different approaches to food risk management. These results suggest that risk communication should be informed by knowledge of consumer risk perceptions and information needs, including individual differences in consumer preferences and requirements, and differences in these relating to socio-historical context associated with regulation. In addition, information about what is being done to identify, prevent and manage food risks needs to be communicated to consumers, together with consistent messages regarding preventative programs, enforcement systems, and scientific uncertainty and variability associated with risk assessments. Cross-cultural differences in consumer perception and information preferences suggest a national or regional strategy for food risk communication may be more effective than one applied at a pan-European level.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cope S, Frewer LJ, Houghton J, Rowe G, Fischer ARH, de Jonge J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Policy

Year: 2010

Volume: 35

Issue: 4

Pages: 349-357

Print publication date: 13/05/2010

ISSN (print): 0306-9192

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5657

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2010.04.002


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