Consumer acceptability of interventions to reduce Campylobacter in the poultry food chain

L A MacRitchie, C J Hunter, N J C Strachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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Reducing human Campylobacter cases has become a priority for the UK Government. However the public's views on acceptability of interventions to reduce Campylobacter in poultry production are poorly understood in the UK and in other countries around the world. The objective of the study was to investigate how increasing awareness and knowledge changes consumer acceptability of interventions that reduce human campylobacteriosis in the poultry food chain. This approach is readily applicable to other risks and associated interventions. It involved a survey of the views of consumers in the Grampian region in North East Scotland. This found that better hygiene practices on farm, freezing chicken meat and vaccination of chickens were acceptable to the majority of participants (95%, 53% & 52% respectively) whilst irradiation and chemical wash of chicken meat were acceptable to <50%. Increasing consumer awareness by providing information on the Campylobacter disease burden in humans increased the number of participants finding them acceptable. However, chemical wash and irradiation remained the least acceptable interventions, although highly effective at reducing Campylobacter, and were found to be never acceptable to >50% of respondents. It was found on average that food poisoning concern, previous awareness of Campylobacter and living in rural or urban areas had either no or little effect effect on the acceptability of interventions. Further, previous awareness of Campylobacter did not influence consumer concern of harmful bacteria on chicken meat. Overall, findings indicate that increasing consumer acceptability of the most effective interventions is likely to be a difficult process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalFood control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Open Access funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Under a Creative Commons license

We thank the Health Protection Team at NHS Grampian for inviting us to be a part of their hand washing and infections disease awareness stand, the participants involved in this study and Sirrku Evans. The work was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council through a studentship awarded by the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme, entitled Human campylobacteriosis: elucidating the exposure, disease burden, health cost and acceptability of interventions (RES 229-25-0012). RELU is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the National Environment Research Council, with additional support from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Scottish Government.


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