Food Recalls and Food Safety Perceptions: The September 2006 Spinach Recall Case
This study analyzes public perceptions on food safety using a national survey conducted soon after the nationwide spinach recall (November 2006). We explore relationships between peoples' perceived risks of food contamination (spinach in this case) and their trust in the institutions in charge of safeguarding/ensuring safety. Finally, we explore relationships between individual observance of basic good food handling practices and food safety. Trust in institutions through which food passes and regulatory agencies were shown to be critical in determining food safety perceptions. For example, skepticism with which the public views food corporations (processors, transporters or retailers) impacted food safety perceptions negatively. On the other, confidence in the USDA as a regulatory agent was viewed positively and hence contributed toward viewing the four types of spinach as safe for consumption.
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