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Communicating about food risk in the 21st century

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EUFIC – European Food Information Council, Brussels, Belgium

Food in Europe today is arguably safer and more accessible than ever before. Despite this, public confidence in the food supply chain seems to be decreasing. A proactive communication would help to reassure the public about food safety, restore consumers’ trust in the authorities that regulate it, and help people understand how to eat safely and healthily.

Communicating about food, however, comes with challenges. It involves science, governments, industry, media, and the general public, each with their own aims and priorities. In addition, food is a personal and emotional topic, often linked to beliefs and habits, and psychological, social and cultural aspects affect the way that people perceive food information.

The evolution of the communication landscape over the last 20 years, with information now abundantly available online, has brought new opportunities but also new challenges to food information communication. What once was a one-way flow from source to audience has now turned into an interactive multidirectional exchange, where anyone can share facts and opinions using internet platforms, forums and blogs. A multitude of ...

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