The safety of the food supply is a growing health concern in the United States. This makes it important to determine what food safety actions people usually take and what factors predict these actions. The present analysis examines the application of the health belief model to food safety. Randomly selected adults in a midwestern state responded to a mailed questionnaire asking their attitudes and behaviors concerning food safety. The findings provided evidence that actions were being taken to assure the safety of food. These actions centered on information seeking, food preparation, and food purchase. Factors that predicted food safety actions were derived from the health belief model. These included the perception that unsafe food is a personal health threat, the perception that one could do something about the threat (self-efficacy), and the motivation to maintain good health. Interaction effects of self-efficacy with perceived threat were examined. Those who feel a personal threat and believe they can do something about it are more likely to engage in food safety behavior. In addition, the sociodemographic factors of age, gender and household size are related to food safety behavior.

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