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A real-time test of food hazard awareness

Caroline Millman (Department of Economics, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.)
Dan Rigby (University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.)
Davey Jones (Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom.)
Gareth Edwards-Jones (Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom.)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 3 August 2015



Food poisoning attributable to the home generates a large disease burden, yet is an unregulated and largely unobserved domain. Investigating food safety awareness and routine practices is fraught with difficulties. The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply a new survey tool to elicit awareness of food hazards. Data generated by the approach are analysed to investigate the impact of oberservable heterogeneity on food safety awareness.


The authors develop a novel Watch-and-Click survey tool to assess the level of awareness of a set of hazardous food safety behaviours in the domestic kitchen. Participants respond to video footage stimulus, in which food hazards occur, via mouse clicks/screen taps. This real-time response data is analysed via estimation of count and logit models to investigate how hazard identification patterns vary over observable characteristics.


User feedback regarding the Watch-and-Click tool approach is extremely positive. Substantive results include significantly higher hazard awareness among the under 60s. People who thought they knew more than the average person did indeed score higher but people with food safety training/experience did not. Vegetarians were less likely to identify four of the five cross-contamination hazards they observed.


A new and engaging survey tool to elicit hazard awareness with real-time scores and feedback is developed, with high levels of user engagement and stakeholder interest. The approach may be applied to elicit hazard awareness in a wide range of contexts including education, training and research.



Millman, C., Rigby, D., Jones, D. and Edwards-Jones, G. (2015), "A real-time test of food hazard awareness", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 8, pp. 2112-2128.



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