Consumer purchase habits and views on food safety: A Brazilian study

J.H. Behrens, M.N. Barcellos, L.J. Frewer, T.P. Nunes, B.D.G.M. Franco, M.T. Destro, M. Landgraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate the attitudes towards food safety among consumers in the city of São Paulo, the major consumer market in Brazil. Focus group sessions were conducted with 30 adults responsible for food choices and purchases. Results indicated a preference for supermarkets over street markets, for the variety of foods, convenience and confidence in the safety assurance. On the other hand, the ‘‘naturalness” of the products in the street markets was the main reason for purchases in those places. Participants showed concerns with respect to food additives, hormones and pesticides – technological rather than ‘‘natural” hazards. Minimally processed and ready-to-eat foods were considered convenient products meeting the need for time/labor-savings in the kitchen, although suspicion about wholesomeness and safety came up among consumers. Lack of awareness regarding potentially risky behaviors was observed, including handling and storage of foods in the domestic environment. In conclusion, this study suggests that Brazilian regulators should create more effective risk communication combining technical information with actual consumer perceptions of food risks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-969
JournalFood Control
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • domestic environment
  • public perceptions
  • focus groups
  • attitudes
  • hazards
  • risks
  • information
  • disease
  • issues
  • pathogens

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