Food Safety Risk Perception

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Socio-demographic variable and the perception of risk
The socio-demographic elements such as age, gender, education, income, size of household and invulnerability of oneself are distinguished as important aspects influencing people’s risk perception (Klontz et al., 1995; Hibbert et al., 2004; Miles et al., 2004). Support by the view of Flynn et al. (1994) that individual risk perception is manipulated by socio-demographic characteristics, voting behaviour and level of understanding. Furthermore, Dosman et al. (2001) analyze the relationship between food safety and risk perception in a multivariate way and find that the risk perception related to bacteria; additives and pesticides in food is predicted by variables such as income, gender, age, number of children and voting preference. Gender

Gender is an important determinant of the perception of risk in relation to health and environmental issues (Flynn et al., 1994; Slovic, 1997). It has been proposed that women see themselves as more vulnerable with less controllability and thus with higher risk perception. It is recognized that, in general, males tend not to perceive risk in situations as the females do (Flynn et al., 1994; Krewsk et al., 1994; Slovic 1997). Further study by Slovic (1999) suggests that the risk perceptions of white males are lower comparative to the white females and people of colour. Rozin et al. (1999) also confirm that perceptions of risk are often different between males and females. Men are considered to be more willing to accept higher risk levels than women. For food safety issues, women are more inclined to consider food additives, bacteriological and pesticide contamination as food safety risks than men do (Dosman et al., 2001). In addition, in the research of Knight and Warland (2004), by comparing the public’s food safety risk perception amongst the food safety issues namely pesticides, Salmonella and fat content, the result has shown that women, the black population and older...
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