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Animal & Plant Biosecurity

Consumer Perceptions Related to Food Safety Advisories

When an advisory is issued regarding the safety of a certain food product, or category of food products, it is important that consumers:

  1. are aware of the advisory;
  2. take appropriate action regarding the affected food(s);
  3. are aware when these actions are no longer necessary; and
  4. continue to have confidence in foods that are unaffected by the advisory.

Through research supported by the NIFA Integrated Food Safety Program, the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University examined media actions and consumer perceptions related to food safety advisories. Their preliminary findings suggest that while media reports created high consumer-awareness levels for one recent produce advisory, more improvement is needed. Consumers did not consistently take appropriate action or resume consumption of the target produce in a timely manner when the advisory was lifted. Furthermore, similar produce was incorrectly associated with the advisory and suffered decreased demand as a result.


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