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Title: Public perceptions and worry about food safety hazards and risks in Ghana
Authors: Omari, R.
Frempong, G. K.
Arthur, W.
Keywords: Food safety;Food safety hazards;Food safety risks;Worry;Concern;Public
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Citation: Food Control, 93, 76-82
Abstract: Food safety has become an important public health concern and many governments have put in place measures to manage the risks. Most often however, people's attitudes to health and food safety and how they respond to such information depend on their level of concern about the risks. This study assessed public level of concern about specific food safety hazards and risks to provide better insights into food safety issues that the public is most concerned about, the possible drivers of the concerns as well as interventions that could be designed to manage the concerns. Upon receiving ethical approval, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in Accra to gather data on public perceptions and concerns about twelve microbiological and chemical hazards and risks. Findings showed that majority of the public was either extremely or very worried about all the twelve hazards and risks. Also, when people worried about one risk they were also likely to worry about all the other risks. However, the level of concern about unhygienic selling, cooking and serving environments was significantly more severe than concern for all other risks while statistically the same level of concern was expressed about chemical hazards such as excess artificial food flavours and colours, Sudan dye in palm oil, pesticides residues, and leaked contaminants from plastic packages. Furthermore, the public was relatively least worried about safety of foods produced around mining sites and aflatoxin contamination as compared to other food safety risks. The degree of concern about food safety risks was influenced by gender and possibly people's level of knowledge and awareness about the risks. In conclusion, public institutions should continuously interact with the public and share relevant information on food safety hazards and risks including preventive and mitigation measures to minimise their concerns
ISSN: 0956-7135
Journal Name: Food Control
Appears in Collections:Food Research Institute

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