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Factors affecting consumers’ awareness of food safety

corresponding

OSMAN KILIC*, GAMZE AYDIN ERYILMAZ
*Corresponding Author
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture,
Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139, Samsun, Turkey

Abstract

The objective of this research is to determine the factors affecting the food safety awareness of consumers in the urban areas of Samsun Province in Turkey. In this research, food safety awareness level was divided into three classes: low, medium and high. Survey data obtained from 384 consumers was analyzed with the Ordered Probit Model. The results indicated that socio-economic variables (gender, education and household income) and behavioral variables (consumption of organic food and consumption of low priced genetically modified food) had considerable effects on consumers’ awareness of food safety. The results also showed that if the education level of consumers has increased, the probability of their awareness level would be increased. Furthermore, it was found that women were more sensitive to food safety issues than men. Therefore, firms must develop marketing strategies for woman consumers, and public institutions should make much more effort to increase the awareness level of man consumers.


INTRODUCTION

Human health depends on adequate and balanced nutrition. It improves individual cognitive developments and work efficiency as well as increasing average life span by reducing health risks. As individuals get mature, cognitive development takes place too. Consumers gradually develop a sense of balanced consumption and they begin to investigate the effects of various foods on human health (1).
In order to feed the continually increasing population in the world, two fundamental problems must be solved. The first one is food security which means accessing sufficient amount of food by consumers, and the other one is food safety representing the reliability of the accessed food in terms of human nutrition and health. Although the food security is