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Risk Communication: Food Safety

  • By: Xiaoli Nan, Kelly Madden & Jarim Kim
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Several recent high-profile food recalls (e.g., spinach in 2006 and 2007 and peanut butter in 2009) brought the importance of food safety risk communication to the public's attention. Understanding how to communicate effectively with consumers about food safety issues such as food recalls is critical for ensuring a healthy public. Research has approached this topic from different perspectives. Because the mass media are the dominant source of information for consumers with regard to food safety issues, scholars have analyzed media coverage of food recalls and the potential impact of this coverage. Research has also attended to consumers' risk perceptions and confidence in food safety.

Media's Role in Food Safety and Recalls

The news media is the primary source of information for consumers during food recall events. People ...

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