Risk Communication During Food Recalls

food recall image

3D illustration of “PRODUCT RECALL” title flowing from a loudspeaker

Principal Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Linda Verrill, Kelly Daily, Jarim Kim

Summary: Public health professionals have sought to understand the determinants of public perceptions related to food contamination risks in order to develop more effective means of communicating the risk of foodborne illnesses to consumers. In one study (N = 1,010), we investigated the impact of two risk characteristics—severity and intentionality—on risk perceptions and subsequent protective motivations. Results indicated that severity was an important driver of risk perceptions and it also interacted with intentionality such that when severity was low, an intentional act led to greater risk perceptions and protective motivations; when severity was high, intentionality had limited impact. These findings hold implications for effectively communicating food contamination risks.