Contamination with potentially pathogenic microorganisms may occur at all stages of the food chain. We conducted a representative cross-sectional survey of 1008 consumers aged 16 years and older in Germany via an online panel; the aim was to assess the perception of consumers regarding the influence of aspects of meat production on the safety and quality of meat. Over 70 % of the participants indicated that poultry fattening farms had a “high or very high” influence on meat safety, followed by cooks or meat preparers (66.3 %). Meat consumption was significantly associated with a high perception of the influence of cooks or meat preparers (p=0.025). The oldest participants were almost three times as likely to vote “high influence” and six times as likely to select “very high influence” (instead of “no or limited”) as the youngest participants (high influence: OR = 2.89, p = 0.016; very high influence: OR = 6.06, p < 0.001). Of all participants, 78.1 % believed organic farming had a positive influence on the safety of meat compared to conventional farming.  Participants over 60 years voted significantly more frequently than youngest participants (16-19 years) that organic farming had no influence (p=0.006; OR= 5.71) or positive influence (p= 0.007; OR 3.93) on meat safety. In addition, it could be shown that majority of consumer believe that irradiation of meat had a negative influence on the safety of meat. In conclusion, consumers were aware that many aspects were important for food safety and quality. The influence of organic farming compared to conventional farming as well as the influence of irradiation was often incorrectly assessed by consumers. Consumers seemed to need more information on sensitive issues such as the different types of farming or the effects of irradiation, to assess the impact of these aspects on the safety and quality of meat better.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.