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Evidence review of food safety behaviours in the home
Project Code: X04009
This project was commissioned as part of a package of work to investigate people’s behaviours in relation to food safety in home. It complements a series of questions in the Food and You survey and further qualitative/observation research the Agency is undertaking in 2011.
The available evidence highlighted a number of areas where people are not following good food safety practice including avoiding cross contamination, chilling foods properly and using food safety labelling appropriately.
The relationship between knowledge and behaviour was found to be influenced by perceptions of risk and optimism bias (people believe they are not vulnerable to food poisoning), rather than being a perfect, linear relationship.
The research highlighted the need for interventions to be appropriately targeted, considered the use of social marketing techniques and recommended that advice is given via healthcare professionals for immunocompromised individuals.
The review highlighted some key gaps in the existing evidence base including information on vulnerable groups, the extent to which vulnerable groups receive information about food safety risks and understanding actual (as opposed to self reported) behaviour.
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