In recent years, it seems that consumers are generally uncertain about the safety and quality of their food and their risk perception differs substantially from that of experts. Hormone and veterinary drug residues in meat persist to occupy a high position in European consumers¿ food concern rankings. The aim of this contribution is to provide a better understanding to food risk analysts of why consumers behave as they do with respect to food safety and risk information. This paper presents some cases of seemingly irrational and inconsistent consumer behaviour with respect to food safety and risk information and provides explanations for these behaviours based on the nature of the risk and individual psychological processes. Potential solutions for rebuilding consumer confidence in food safety and bridging between lay and expert opinions towards food risks are reviewed. These include traceability and labelling, segmented communication approaches and public involvement in risk management decision-making.
- gene technology
- fresh meat