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Consumer Perceptions of Food-Related Hazards and Correlates of Degree of Concerns about Food

주부의 식품안전에 대한 인식과 안전성우려의 관련 요인

  • 최정숙 (농촌진흥청 농촌자원개발연구소) ;
  • 전혜경 (농촌진흥청 농촌자원개발연구소) ;
  • 황대용 (농촌진흥청 농촌자원개발연구소) ;
  • 남희정 (농촌진흥청 농촌자원개발연구소)
  • Published : 2005.01.01

Abstract

This survey was conducted to assess the consumer perceptions of food-related hazard in 500 housewives from all over Korea. The subjects were selected by stratified random sampling method. The survey was performed using structured questionnaire through telephone interview by skilled interviewers. The results showed that 34.6% of the respondents felt secure and were not concerned about food safety, and 65.4% were concerned about food safety. Logistic regression analysis showed that the increasing concern on food brands, food additives (such as food preservatives and artificial color), and imported foodstuffs indicated the current increasing concern on food safety. Other related factors indicating the increasing concern on food safety were education level and care for children's health. The respondents who cared about food safety expressed a high degree of concern on processed foodstuffs such as commercial boxed lunch (93.3%), imported foods (92.7%), fastfoods (89.9%), processed meat products (88.7%), dining out (85.6%), cannery and frozen foods (83.5%), and instant foods (82.0%). The lowest degree of concern was on rice. All the respondents perceived that residues of chemical substances such as pesticides and food additives, and endocrine disrupters were the most potential food risk factors, followed by food-borne pathogens, and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). However, these results were not consistent with scientific judgment. Therefore, more education and information were needed for consumers' awareness of facts and myths about food safety. In addition, the results showed that consumers put lower trust in food products information such as food labels, cultivation methods (organic or not), quality labels, and the place of origin. Nevertheless, the respondents expressed their desire to overcome alienation, and recognized the importance of knowing of the origin or the producers of food. They identified that people who need to take extreme precautions on food contamination were the producers, government officials, food companies, consumers, the consumer's association, and marketers, arranged in the order of highest to lowest. They also believed that the production stage of agriculture was the most important step for improving the level of food safety Therefore, the results indicated that there is a need to introduce safety systems in the production of agricultural products, as follows: Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), and Traceability System (75).

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