Source: USDA/ERS submitted to
CONSUMER RESPONSE TO FOOD SAFETY INFORMATION
Sponsoring Institution
Economic Research Service/USDA
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0406175
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
DSHE2
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2002
Project End Date
Dec 15, 2003
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Ralston, K.
Recipient Organization
USDA/ERS
1800 M STREET NW
WASHINGTON,DC 20036
Performing Department
ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE
Non Technical Summary
The ongoing project examines the relationships among information sources, food safety knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes, and safe food handling behavior.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
71260203010100%
Goals / Objectives
The ongoing project examines the relationships among information sources, food safety attitudes, and safe handling behavior, and tests whether relationships differ among ethnic groups. Results of the analysis can be used to identify target groups for consumer food safety education and idenitfy important messages. Research being conducted under a fy2002 cooperative agreement with North Carolina A&T focuses specifically on African-Americans in the South. African American perceive higher levels of risk than other ethnic groups and report using practices to prevent cross-contamination in greater percentages, but they report safe refrigeration in lower numbers.
Project Methods
Web based surveys

Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/04

Outputs
This project will be completed in 2004. Kofi Adu-Nyako from NCA&T presented a seminar at ERS in October 2003 on ethnic differences in food safety attitudes and behavior in the Southeastern U.S. A paper based on these findings will be presented at the AAEA meetings in August 2004. The study showed that in 5 Southeastern states, awareness of safe handling labels on meat and poultry was significantly associated with safe handling behavior even after accounting for perceived risk. African-americans were more likely to follow some food safety recommendations but not others. The project also included national survey of food safety knowledge and behavior focusing on hamburger preparation as a case study. See Consumer Food Safety Behavior: A Case Study in Hamburger Cooking and Ordering, AER-804, May 2002.

Impacts
The work has the potential to inform more effective food safety education strategies in the Southeast.

Publications

  • Ralston, K., C. Philip Brent, YoLanda Starke, Toija Riggins, C.-T. Jordan Lin, 2002, Consumer Food Safety Behavior: A Case Study of Hamburger Cooking and Ordering Behavior, Agricultural Economic Report, AER-804, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, May, 33 pp.


Progress 10/01/02 to 09/30/03

Outputs
In December 2002, a Master's student at NCAT completed a thesis on food safety attitudes and behavior in the Southeastern U.S. A paper based on the thesis will be presented at the AAEA meetings in August 2003. In a national survey, consumers who perceive higher risk were more likely to follow safe hamburger cooking recommendations but those who prefered lightly cooked hamburgers continued to eat them that way even if they perceived risk of foodborne illness. In a survey of consumers in 5 Southeastern states, awareness of safe handling labels on meat and poultry was significantly associated with safe handling behavior even after accounting for perceived risk, suggesting that label awareness could conceivably be a marker for rather than a cause of safe handling. African-Americans had higher safe food handling scores, even though they were not more aware of labels than other groups, suggesting that ethnic differences in food handling may be cultural.

Impacts
The work has the potential to inform more effective food safety education strategies in the Southeast.

Publications

  • Ralston, K., C. Philip Brent, YoLanda Starke, Toija Riggins, C.-T. Jordan Lin, 2002, Consumer Food Safety Behavior: A Case Study of Hamburger Cooking and Ordering Behavior, Agricultural Economic Report, AER-804, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, May, 33 pp.


Progress 10/01/01 to 09/30/02

Outputs
In May 2002 ERS published Consumer Food Safety Behavior: A Case Study in Hamburger Cooking and Ordering, AER-804. The survey discussed in the report asked consumers how they cook and ordered their hamburgers, using doneness descriptions such as rare, medium rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done, or colors such as red, pink, light brown, or dark brown. While the descriptions of hamburger doneness used in recent surveys do not correspond exactly to the safety of the hamburger, the descriptions do give an indication of how well consumers were following previous recommendations. in May 2002 ERS also released a data product entitled "Hamburger Doneness and Consumer Preferences Data", making available for public use the data used in the report on hamburger cooking and ordering. In December 2002, a Master's studnet at NCAT completed a thesis on food safety attitudes and behavior in the Southeastern U.S. A paper based on the thesis will be presented at the AAEA meetings in August 2003.

Impacts
Consumers who perceive higher risk are more likely to follow safe hamburger cooking recommendations but those who prefer lightly cooked hamburgers continue to eat them that way even if they perceive risk of foodborne illness.

Publications

  • Ralston, K., C. Philip Brent, YoLanda Starke, Toija Riggins, C.-T. Jordan Lin, 2002, Consumer Food Safety Behavior: A Case Study of Hamburger Cooking and Ordering Behavior, Agricultural Economic Report, AER-804, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, May, 33 pp.
  • Ralston, K., YoLanda Stark (FAS), Toija Riggins (FDA), "Awareness of Risks Changing How Hamburgers Are Cooked", Food Review, Volume 23, Issue 2, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, pp. 44-50.
  • Ralston, K., Hamburger Doneness and Consumer Preferences Data, U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/hamburger/,