European consumer acceptance of safety-improving interventions in the beef chain
Posted: April 30th, 2011 - 10:50pm
Source: Food Control
While safety interventions are applied on different stages of the beef chain, consumer acceptance remains largely uninvestigated and undiscussed though often taken for granted. In this study, European consumer acceptance of beef safety-enhancing interventions was investigated at three key stages of the beef chain: primary production (adjusting cattle feed), slaughtering (decontaminating cattle hides) and processing (applying treatments). This paper presents original findings from a quantitative study with beef consumers (n = 2520) from five European countries (France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom). Acceptance levels differ between countries and consumer segments, and between stages of application, processes, and level of information detail provided. Higher a priori confidence in beef and beef products, as well as higher risk perception were associated with increased acceptance of safety-improving interventions. More detailed descriptions of the processes or technologies involved in the interventions, on the other hand, led to lower acceptance. As a result, it is unlikely that one standard way of communicating about beef safety improvements will be most successful.