Major sources of food safety information; a Case study on consumers in Lagos, Nigeria
AbstractUnsafe food propels a cyclical process of disease formation and malnutrition, especially in infants, young children, the elderly, and the sick. To ensure food safety, consumers are advised to pay close attention to the type and nature of food consumed. This study, therefore, investigates the trusted sources of information on food safety; identifies the major food safety information sought by consumers; and the factors that motivate consumers to read food safety information. Primary data were obtained with the use of pretested structured questionnaire in an interview schedule. A total of 220 consumers of pre-packaged food were used for the study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Likert scale. The results showed that food labels were the fifth most trusted source of information on food after doctors, family, friends and colleagues, television and the internet. It also showed that consumers look out for the expiry date of the product before any other information and product comparison is the major motivation for individuals to read food labels. Therefore, we recommend that food regulatory bodies should ensure the enactment of better regulations on food labeling that can help improve consumer confidence in the content of food labels; and create awareness programs that encourage food consumers to pay closer attention to the use of food labels beyond just the product name and expiry date as a food label.
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