Foodborne illnesses are a global public health issue. Responsibility to prevent foodborne disease is shared by many actors along the food supply chain, including consumers. However, there are many factors that affect consumer food risk perception and many strategies to motivate and drive food choices on food safety (or risk). EatSafe conducted a scoping review to assess consumer-facing food safety interventions carried out globally over the past 20 years, and categorised and analysed them by type of theory, intervention strategy, evaluation design, and outcomes to understand which perception and practice interventions might be effective in changing consumer behaviour, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions on food safety. Ninety-two interventions were reviewed, the majority of which were published in the last 10 years in North America. Most targeted adults and 25% were directed at women and mothers. Health or risk communication interventions were the most common strategy to reach a wide range of audience types in community or market settings and move beyond just skill-based education at the individual level. This scoping review offers recommendations on how to communicate with consumers to modify their risk perceptions and potentially change food purchasing behaviors, which is relevant to develop programmatic models for consumer-driven or demand-driven approach to food safety in low- and middle-income countries.
EatSafe will consider these findings and their application in the context of informal markets, where the audience for food safety communication are adults and communication between the vendors and consumers is direct.