Consumer Acceptance of Irradiated Meat and Poultry Products
Federal Government began allowing food manufacturers to irradiate
raw meat and meat products to control pathogenic microorganisms in
February 2000. Consumer acceptance of irradiated foods could
affect public health because many foodborne illnesses occur when
consumers handle or eat meat or poultry contaminated by microbial
pathogens. However, food manufacturers have been slow to adopt
irradiation, partly because of the perception that relatively few
consumers are willing to buy irradiated foods. A recent survey by
the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
confirmed this perception: only half of the adult residents of the
FoodNet sites were willing to buy irradiated ground beef or
chicken, and only a fourth were willing to pay a premium for these
products, which cost more to produce than comparable nonirradiated
products. These findings suggest that the impact of food
irradiation on public health will be limited unless consumer
preferences change, perhaps in response to educational messages
about the safety and benefits of food irradiation".
Paul D. Frenzen, Alex Majchrowicz, Jean C. Buzby, Beth Imhoff.
Research Service. U.S. Department of
Information Bulletin No. 757. 8 pp, August 2000).
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