Foodborne illnesses are often related to raw and cooked poultry and meat, eggs, and their products. Consumer practices related to these foods have been studied in many countries, however, little comparison has been made among different countries. The purpose of this paper is to characterize consumers’ purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs in four European countries: Russia, Estonia, Italy, and Spain.
Approximately 100 selected consumers in each location completed a questionnaire that included sections about poultry products and eggs purchase temperatures and locations, storage locations such as refrigerator, freezer, or cabinet, and preparation such as washing eggs and poultry before cooking, and the use of cutting boards.
Although educating consumers in European countries is common, some food safety aspects may need to be additionally addressed. The results indicated differences in purchase and storage practices of raw eggs. In Russia and Estonia consumers who participated in the study purchased both refrigerated and room temperature eggs whereas in Italy (84 percent) and Spain (87 percent) eggs typically were purchased at room temperature. However, almost all consumers in all countries stored eggs in the refrigerator. In Russia 70 percent of the consumers who participated in the study immediately froze raw meat, poultry, or seafood after purchase; while in other countries about a quarter of the consumers froze the raw meat.
This research was limited by the number of respondents in each country that does not allow extrapolation of results.
Food preparation practices revealed behavior that supports cross-contamination during cooking, such as washing raw poultry and eggs. A uniform approach to food safety practices related research, such as presented in this study, would help define overlapping critical points in consumer behavior and create educational messages based on the information gathered.
The authors wish to thank Sandria Godwin, Tennessee State University, for her help in providing an initial questionnaire on which this survey was based.
Koppel, K., Timberg, L., Shalimov, R., Vázquez-Araújo, L., Carbonell-Barracchina, A.A., Di Donfrancesco, B. and Chambers IV, E. (2015), "Purchase, storage, and preparation of eggs and poultry in selected European countries: A preliminary study", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 2, pp. 749-765. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2014-0021
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited