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Food risk management quality:consumer evaluation of past and emerging food safety incidents

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD


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In European countries, there has been growing consumer distrust regarding the motives of food safety regulators and other actors in the food chain, partly as a result of recent food safety incidents. If consumer confidence in food safety is to be improved, a systematic understanding of what consumers perceive to be best practice in risk management is crucial. Previous qualitative and quantitative research has revealed underlying factors determining consumer perceptions of food risk management quality. The aim of the current case studies is to provide 'proof of principles' of these different factors against historic and emerging food safety incidents. Participants in four countries were questioned about country specific case studies, guided by the earlier findings regarding factors that determine perceived good practice in food risk management. In each country, two food safety incidents were selected. Semi-structured interviews with at least 25 participants per case study were conducted in Germany (BSE; nematode worms in fish), Greece (mould in Greek yogurt/carcinogenic honey crisis; avian influenza), Norway (E. coli in meat; contaminants in Norwegian salmon) and the UK (BSE; contaminants in Scottish salmon). The results generally confirm the importance of the previously identified factors, which help to explain relative perceptions of well and poorly managed incidents. Differences and similarities across countries and cases are detailed, and implications for future efforts to communicate about risk management are drawn.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Van Kleef E, Ueland O, Theodoridis G, Rowe G, Pfenning U, Houghton J, van Dijk J, Chryssochoidis G, Frewer LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health, Risk and Society

Year: 2009

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Pages: 137-163

ISSN (print): 1369-8575

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8331

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13698570902784265


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