Designing effective messages for microbial food safety hazards
Posted: May 28th, 2009 - 9:01am
Despite numerous food safety information campaigns and educational efforts, microbial foodborne illness remains a significant source of human disease. New food safety messages transmitted using new media are required to enhance food safety from farm-to-fork. A review of the literature reveals that targeting a segment of the population and understanding knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of the individuals comprising that segment can lead to successful communication of food safety messages. Messages found to be effective are relevant to the target audience, contain reliable information, are rapidly distributed at appropriate times, and are repeated. Those containing information that is easily received and understood have also been found effective. The use of media commonly accessed by today’s consumers is also valuable. Evaluation of the effect of all aspects of food safety messages and media, as measured through observation of recipients’ actions, is required to validate the effectiveness of food safety communications.