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Food Scares

  • By: Katherine O'Doherty Jensen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

While there is no standard definition of the term, a food scare is generally said to occur when a confirmed outbreak of foodborne illness leads to a marked and relatively sudden fall in consumer demand for a given food product and pressure is placed on public or private authorities to solve the problem, to provide consumer advice in the short term, and to ensure that policy and control measures are in place to prevent future occurrences. The scale of such a scare is often, but not always, influenced by the seriousness of the health threat, the numbers potentially affected, and the likelihood that blame can be attributed to malpractice, mistakes, or omissions on the part of responsible parties. Each of these factors also contributes to ...

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