Emerging food safety issues: what do consumers want to know?

EFSA asked Europeans for their views on emerging risks in the food chain, and how they would like to be informed about them.

We surveyed just over 6,200 consumers in 25 EU Member States, asking them about potential emerging risks related to food safety.

Overall, respondents were more concerned about risks that are already known to scientists than about emerging risks. However, the survey findings have important implications for communicating about new risks.

Consumers expressed a desire to be informed about emerging risks early on in the process of identification, even if there is scientific uncertainty. They also indicated a preference for receiving such information via traditional media channels such as TV and newspapers, and the websites of national authorities. Social media and the websites of European authorities were also popular channels among 18 to 34-year-olds.

These consumer insights will help EFSA and its partners in national food safety authorities to develop communications strategies and materials on emerging issues.

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