A closer look at changes in high-risk food-handling behaviors and perceptions of primary food handlers at home in South Korea across time

Tae Jin Cho, Sun Ae Kim, Hye Won Kim, Min Suk Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Food-handling behaviors and risk perceptions among primary food handlers were investigated by consumer surveys from different subjects in 2010 (N = 609; 1st survey will be called here “Year 2010”) and 2019 (N = 605; 2nd survey will be called here “Year 2019”). Year 2010 was characterized by consumers' risk perception-behavior gap (i.e., consumers knew safe methods for food-handling, but responses regarding the behaviors did not support their confidence in food safety): they 1) did not wash/trim foods before storage, 2) thawed frozen foods at room temperature, and 3) exposed leftovers to danger zone temperatures. These trends were not improved and the gaps in Year 2010 remained in Year 2019. Year 2010 was also characterized by other common high-risk behaviors improved during 8 years for the following aspects: 1) 70.0% of consumers divided a large portion of food into smaller pieces for storage, but few consumers (12.5%) labeled divided foods with relevant information, and 2) they excessively reused kitchen utensils. Whereas in Year 2019, more consumers (25.7%) labeled food and usage periods for kitchen utensils were shortened. Consumers usually conformed to food safety rules in both Year 2010 and 2019: 1) separate storage of foods, 2) storage of foods in the proper places/periods, 3) washing fruits/vegetables before eating, 4) washing hands after handling potentially hazardous foods, and 5) cooking foods and reheating leftovers to eat. Our findings provided resources for understanding consumers' high-risk behaviors/perceptions at home, highlighting the importance of behavioral control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1457
JournalFoods
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 13

Keywords

  • Consumer behavior
  • Consumer survey
  • Cultural consumer context
  • Food handling
  • Food hygiene
  • Food safety
  • Health
  • Healthy food consumption
  • Microbiological risk
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

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