Offsetting Behavior and the Benefits of Food Safety Policies in Vegetable Preparation and Consumption
Foodborne disease outbreaks have a tremendous impact on society, including foodborne illnesses, hospitalizations, lost work time, and deaths. These food-safety events have a significant influence in shaping consumer's perception of risk. In food consumption, outbreaks of foodborne illnesses also have an effect on the development of public health policy. Due to these safety-related uncertainties in the food supply chain, various regulatory safety and health policies are implemented to decrease potential harm to likely victims. The expected effect of these food-safety policies forecasted in terms of reduction in foodborne illnesses, mortality, and food-related diseases may be overstated if consumer's offsetting behavior is overlooked. Reduction and in some cases reversal of direct policy effect may occur. This research tests the presence of dominant or partial offsetting behavior in the preparation and consumption of vegetables if a food-safety policy such as the Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (PR/HACCP) is mandated in the vegetable sector.
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