Belgium Scientific Committee of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain FASFC

Brussels, Belgium

Belgium Scientific Committee of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain FASFC

Brussels, Belgium
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Lupo C.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea | Wilmart O.,Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain FASFC | Van Huffel X.,Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain FASFC | Dal Pozzo F.,University of Liège | And 2 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2016

An online survey was conducted to describe stakeholders' perceptions, attitudes and practices towards risk prevention in the food chain and to explore if common features could be extracted from different fields of competency or groups of stakeholders. Out of 80 participants, 60% believed that pathogenic microorganisms were the main hazard to prevent. Twenty-four percent perceived climate change as the main risk factor. Seventy-three percent believed that hazards in the food chain are preventable and they often showed a positive attitude towards risk prevention measures. The opinion of 75% of stakeholders was that prevention measures should be compulsory and under the shared responsibility of both food business operators and competent authority. Seventy-five percent of the respondents had recent experience with particular hazards and declared to have undertaken risk reduction measures. Incentives to implement measures were policy obligation and public health consequences whereas barriers were budgetary reasons and doubts about their effectiveness. However, there was not always a complete agreement between the perceived usefulness of risk prevention measures and their effective implementation, and conversely. No significant difference could be observed in the perceptions, attitudes and practices towards risk prevention between neither groups of stakeholders nor their fields of competency. The results are important for improving the risk communication process because the same issues can be emphasized when promoting risk prevention in the food chain regardless of the type of food sectors and the groups of stakeholders. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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