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Public worry about specific food safety issues

Susan Miles (School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Mary Brennan (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Sharron Kuznesof (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Mitchell Ness (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Christopher Ritson (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Lynn J. Frewer (Department of Marketing and Consumer Behavior, Building No. 201, Hollandseweg, KN Wageningen, The Netherlands)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 January 2004

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.

Keywords

Citation

Miles, S., Brennan, M., Kuznesof, S., Ness, M., Ritson, C. and Frewer, L.J. (2004), "Public worry about specific food safety issues", British Food Journal, Vol. 106 No. 1, pp. 9-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700410515172

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited