New Zealand – Food safety labelling of chicken to prevent Campylobacteriosis: consumer expectations and current practices

BMC Public Health 

 

Campylobacteriosis from contaminated chicken meat is one of the most important food safety problems in western countries, and dissemination of antibiotic resistant
organisms is a growing concern. It is also a preventable disease. Food labels are a universally accessible means of conveying safe chicken preparation information to
consumers. Our research identified demand for comprehensive safe chicken preparation and handling information on labels and demonstrated several gaps in consumer
knowledge. Consumers currently underestimate the level of Campylobacter
contamination on fresh raw chicken, and have stated a desire to have such information presented on labels to inform their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, our chicken label analysis demonstrated a lack of consistent safety messages in an easily-useable
format, highlighting a key deficiency to be addressed. We recommend mandatory introduction of comprehensive, high-quality, chicken safety labelling, along with
evaluation to establish whether this intervention leads to changes in consumer behaviour and reductions in the incidence of Campylobacter infection.

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