Safer food through changed consumer behavior: Effective tools and products, communication strategies, education and a food safety policy reducing health burden from foodborne illnesses

PI: Mónica Truninger

Food safety violations at the consumer stage are common and nearly 40% of food-borne outbreaks are occurring in the domestic setting. The overall goal of SafeconumE is to reduce health burden from foodborne illness by changing people’s behavior from hazardous to safe. Four fundamental strategies for reducing foodborne illnesses will be developed and tested:

1) New tools and products (e.g. kitchen utensils, cleaning concepts, sensors) that can aid behavioral change and mitigate risk;

2) Effective food safety communication strategies reaching different groups of consumers through preferred channels, using optimal senders and format;

3) Education programs aiding teenagers to handle food safely;

4) Multi-actor policy models that stimulates and support national and EU level initiatives.

To achieve high implementation and innovation power, scientists will work together with consumers, authorities and different market actors under a new trans-disciplinary and multiactor approach based on Theories of Practices combined with Design-driven innovation. Covering the five most important hazards causing food born disease, consumer behavior across Europe will be described using a risk-based methodology and utilizing the strengths of high-throughput surveys together with in-depth qualitative methodology. New strategies will be developed taking into account their impact on risk reduction, documented consumer barriers for change and sustainability. SafeconsumE will support transformation towards a more healthy population and cost-efficacy by reduced foodborne illness, and a more sustainable community by less food-waste and environmentally friendly solutions.