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Food safety practices in European TV cooking shows

Daniela Borda (Faculty of Food Science and Engineering, Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Galati, Romania)
Miles R. Thomas (Department for Knowledge Management, The Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Huton, UK)
Solveig Langsrud (Microbiology Group, The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Osloveien, Norway)
Kathrin Rychli (Institute for Milk Hygiene, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
Kieran Jordan (Food Safety Department, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Ireland)
Joop van der Roest (Institute of Food Safety, RIKILT, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
Anca Ioana Nicolau (Faculty of Food Science and Engineering, Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Galati, Romania)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 30 September 2014




The purpose of this paper is to determine how well cooking shows promote safe food handling via TV and to suggest their use for providing good hygiene and good cooking practices examples for consumers.


Principal component analysis was applied for the multivariate statistical analysis of the cooking shows, the components being: personal hygiene, cross-contamination, cooking and storing practices and risk communication. Data were collected via a questionnaire special designed for the purpose of the study. The positive attributes were converted into numbers using a nine-point Likert scale. This conversion enabled ranking of the cooking shows as a function of the total results obtained and considering the best show as the one with the maximum score attained.


Evaluation of cooking practices by food safety professionals highlighted the most frequent safety errors and poor practices that are disseminated by the TV shows.

Practical implications

While the repetition of good food handling and cooking practices risks antagonizing viewers, an increase in occasional emphasis of good hygiene would be of benefit to domestic viewers and potentially improve food safety practices among the public.


This is the first study that gives an European perspective on presentation of safety practices during food handling and preparation in a range of TV cooking shows as it examines 19 such shows broadcasted in six European countries over three months. Adherence to food safety standards and introduction of a star rating system for safety practices in TV cooking shows is proposed.



© Daniela Borda, Miles Thomas, Solveig Langsrud, Kathrin Rychli, Kieran Jordan, Joop van der Roest and Anca Nicolau. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at

This work was supported by the European Union funded FOODSEG Project (Contract No. 266061) under the 7th RTD Framework.


Borda, D., R. Thomas, M., Langsrud, S., Rychli, K., Jordan, K., van der Roest, J. and Ioana Nicolau, A. (2014), "Food safety practices in European TV cooking shows", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 10, pp. 1652-1666.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Authors

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