Quarter of pig farmers readily viewed information on Toxoplasma gondii infection in pigs provided in a data exchange system of a Dutch slaughter company

Marcel A.P.M. van Asseldonk*, Martijn Bouwknegt, Henk J. Wisselink, Coen P.A. van Wagenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a food safety hazard causing a substantial human disease burden. Because infected pig meat is estimated to attribute 12 % to this disease burden, it is important to control T. gondii infection in pigs. Providing pig farmers with information on T. gondii infection in general, and more specific on the status on their farm, could motivate them to take actions. In this study, we analysed the strategy pig farmers used to view specific T. gondii information provided for the first time on webpages in an existing data exchange system of a Dutch pig slaughter company. The available information for farmers comprised a webpage displaying the farm-level T. gondii seroprevalence and a webpage with information on risk sources and control measures for T. gondii infection in pigs and on human health consequences of a T. gondii infection. A total of 1404 owners of pig farms logged in the data exchange system. Of these, a quarter viewed the webpage with information on T. gondii seroprevalence, and about of third of them also viewed the webpage with the information on risk sources and control measures. T. gondii seroprevalence exceeded 2.0 % at only 0.6 % of these 1404 farms. The seroprevalence level on a particular farm neither influenced the likelihood of the farmer viewing the webpage with the T. gondii seroprevalence, nor the likelihood of them continuing to the webpage with the additional information. In the days when the pop-up message was included, the number of views registered on the seroprevalence and the additional information webpages rose nine and two times, respectively. Since the majority of views was in the period with a pop-up message pointing to this information we conclude that a targeted pop-up might help to transfer needed information to farmers with higher T. gondii seroprevalence at farm-level. More general, our study provides valuable insight into pig farmers’ viewing strategies of new information on food safety hazards provided in a slaughter data exchange system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105410
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume193
Early online date10 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Farmer
  • Information viewing
  • Pigs
  • Slaughterhouse data exchange system
  • Toxoplasma gondii

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