The effect of consumer information on the risk of Campylobacteriosis

M.J. Nauta, A.R.H. Fischer, E.D. van Asselt, A.E.I. de Jong, L.J. Frewer, R. de Jonge

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Campylobacter on fresh broiler meat would not be a problem if consumers cook the meat thoroughly and consistently prevent cross contamination during food preparation. Hence, the adequate provision of information may be a tool to reduce the incidence of campylobacteriosis among consumers. For this purpose, we studied the potential effectiveness of an information campaign on food hygiene in a transdisciplinary approach, involving interaction between both the social and natural sciences. First, some web-based information interventions based on negative emotions were designed and tested on participant motivation and intentions to cook more safely. Based on these self-reported measures, the intervention supported by the emotion 'disgust' was selected as the most promising information intervention. Its effect on microbial cross contamination was tested by recruiting a set of participants, who prepared a salad with chicken breast fillet that carried a known amount of tracer bacteria. The amount of tracer that could be recovered from the salad was used as a measure of transfer and survival of Campylobacter. This finding was introduced into an existing risk assessment model on Campylobacter on broiler meat, to assess the effect of the information intervention both at the level of exposure and the level of human disease risk. We showed that the information intervention supported by the emotion 'disgust' alone had no measurable effect on the health risk. However, when a behavioral cue is embedded within the instruction for the salad preparation, the risk decreased sharply. It is shown that a transdisciplinary approach, including research on risk perception, microbiology and risk assessment, is successful in evaluating the efficacy of an information campaign on food hygiene in terms of human health risks. The approach strengthens the existing disciplines and offers a novel tool for science-based risk management in the area of food safety
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-15
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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    Nauta, M. J., Fischer, A. R. H., van Asselt, E. D., de Jong, A. E. I., Frewer, L. J., & de Jonge, R. (2007). The effect of consumer information on the risk of Campylobacteriosis. Zoonoses and Public Health, 54(S1), 15-15.