American Entomologist | VOL. 42

Food Safety Perceptions and Practices: Implications for Extension

Publication Date Jan 1, 1996


-Surveyswere comprised of 728 and 605 respondents in 1965 and 1984, respectively. Farmer care 81.5 61.6 Production regulations 97.7 45.8 Retail inspections 94.0 48.9 Table 1. Percentage of public responding positivelyto trusting different parts of the food production and distribution systems (Sachs et al. 1987) H EALTIi AND WEll-BEING AREI-IIGHLY VALUED in today's society, and the safety of the food supply is of critical concern to consumers. The food system is consumer driven, with the purchaser significantly dictating which foods are produced, processed, and distributed. Consumers want a safe, wholesome food supply produced without harming the environment and with no danger from microorganisms, naturally occurring toxins, and potentially hazardous chemicals that may be added deliberately or enter the food supply by accident. Indeed, consumers' attitudes about food safety have changed dramatically over the past 20 years, from basic trust in the food production and distribution system to increased concern and lack of trust. Sachs et al. (1987) examined the change in trust over a 20-year span and found a dramatic decrease in trust regarding production practices and food safety (Table 1). Although scientists generally agree that microorganisms are the biggest threat to food safety, Cuperus et al. (1991) found that the general public believes pesticides and pesticide residues are the most critical food safety issues facing consumers. Pomerantz (1995) learned from national surveys that more than 64% of consumers are concerned wi...


Food Safety Food Safety Perceptions Food Supply Public Believes Basic Trust Safety Of Supply Food Distribution Pesticide Residues Critical Safety Issues Food System

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