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Perception of Risk and Food Crisis


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#1 Carvalho

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:30 AM

Hi!

First of all, congrats for your forum and sorry for my bad english. I hope that We help each others. I am studying a Food Engeneering Student at University of Porto and I am making a work about:

google translation:

Proceed to the identification and characterization of various food crises (Max 10) occurred in Europe in the last 20 years. 

 For every crisis presents information on how consumers perceived the corresponding risk food, and the level of change in dietary habits.


I would like that you give me your opinion about what were the top 10 food crises in Europe in the last twenty years...

Any help or any affirmation or interaction will help me in this work

Examples of food crises: Disease "mad cow", The dioxin crisis,...


Thank you and congrats one more time. :rolleyes:

#2 Charles.C

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 02:37 PM

Dear Carvalho,

Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:

I think yr first requirement will be to clarify what you mean by a food crisis. :smile:

Yr examples are health related incidents caused by food contamination.

But many food "crises" are caused simply by total lack of food supplies / natural disasters etc.

So are you refering only to contaminated food incidents?. If so, the logical follow-up is to categorise from numbers of fatalities or related statistics ? I believe such chronological data is available from sites like CDC ?

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 GMO

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:00 PM

Blimey! Well it's a wide subject and it's worth looking at the fsa website for some ideas:

www.food.gov.uk

Off the top of my head, I'd use some of these as starting points but I suggest you research them. Finding newspaper headlines from the time would be a good idea on seeing how people reacted in the immediate aftermath but also it's worth looking at sales data if you can find some; certainly sales of beef have suffered for years!

Ok, key food crises in no particular order (sorry, I'd have to search around for dates so I'll leave that for you to do!)

Listeria in soft cheeses / pate; first time Listeria is really recognised as the dangerous pathogen it is for vulnerable groups. Changed advice for pregnant women, elderly etc. Probably the perceived risk was only slightly higher than the real risk which is rare!

Salmonella in eggs. Previously had only been thought to be in the chicken. Changed cooking habits for a while (no more soft centred yolks) eventually led to mass flock vaccination. It was a big deal for a short time until everyone realised hard boiled eggs don't taste as nice.

BSE in cattle; long running, eventually a link to CJD is generally accepted; beef sales badly hit, especially in the UK. Some countries will still not accept UK beef exports now. Perceived risk far higher than actual in my opinion but then just because there are higher odds of winning the lottery, it doesn't stop people entering the lottery mind and most peope accept that removal of certain parts of the brain and spinal cord minimise the small risk there is.

Foot and mouth. Not a food risk but it was perceived in that way by the TV coverage of hundreds of cows being burned in the field to prevent the spread of disease.

Sudan dyes in chilli powders; resulting drop in sales of ready meals particularly. The perceived risk I think was higher than the real risk as there was no proven real risk and contamination levels were minute. I did see a cracking news report though which showed the route from India to the worcester sauce manufacturer who then sold onto ready meal manufacturers. It had the effect of more regulation within the ready meal industry and more testing / certification of ingredients.

EColi - various scares in the UK with O147:H7 and variants. Particularly around butchers without proper high risk / low risk controls around raw and cooked. The public perception died down almost immediately whereas I think this was the biggest scandal. A butcher in Wales was jailed as a result of killing a child because of this. It probably didn't hit the headlines as much because it was all small producers.

EColi - again didn't hit the headlines as much as it perhaps should but I remember Morrisons having a contamination of their deli counters in some stores but because they produce their own sandwiches in house, the contamination spread across products.

Blimey, my mind's gone blank and it's time to cook tea. Well that's a few to be going on with!


Edited by GMO, 07 April 2009 - 06:06 PM.


#4 Carvalho

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:42 PM

Hi Charles

Yes I am talking about contaminated food incidents only in Europe.

If so, the logical follow-up is to categorise from numbers of fatalities or related statistics ? I believe such chronological data is available from sites like CDC ?


Yes I was thinking in categorise from numbers of fatalities but I am not finding the statistics information that I want.
(I find some info about BSE only and more info about Portugal of course.)

GMO, thanks for the site first of all.

Finding newspaper headlines from the time would be a good idea on seeing how people reacted in the immediate aftermath


Yes I am doing that.

also it's worth looking at sales data if you can find some; certainly sales of beef have suffered for years!


I have some info about Portuguese between 90-2003 (last study made). But from other countries I have limitations.

Salmonella in eggs. Previously had only been thought to be in the chicken. Changed cooking habits for a while (no more soft centred yolks) eventually led to mass flock vaccination. It was a big deal for a short time until everyone realised hard boiled eggs don't taste as nice.


From the list that you pointed I only hadn't read about salmonella in eggs. Thanks :)

It is a pleasure to talk about this subjects with you two

#5 Biss

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:39 AM

Hi,


please see the link. hope it will be useful for you

http://www.icd-onlin...Course/M1L1.pdf


Biss

#6 Carvalho

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:05 AM

Hi,


please see the link. hope it will be useful for you

http://www.icd-onlin...Course/M1L1.pdf


Namastei! :biggrin:

Thank you Biss :thumbup:

#7 Charles.C

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:57 AM

Dear Carvalho,

I think you are attempting a tough project. :smile:

After looking around on the net, it seems that the USA provides far more statistics on their CDC site than anybody else with respect to consequences / illnesses. Not of direct interest to you of course.

I saw various summaries relating to, particularly microbiological related, incidents from individual countries but no integrated evaluations with one exception though it's slightly off topic or maybe not. The EU maintains a database of product recalls and issue a yearly review of such which contains highly detailed statistics such as total number of "notifications".
However it does not concern itself with consequences, only detected defect lots but there is a review of the most notable cases within the report. If nothing else it gives a good idea of what types of contamination have been found to cause recurring problems. This series goes back to approx 2000 though with decreasing level of detail. Current ones are pretty amazing graphically.

These reports are available from -

http://ec.europa.eu/...rt/index_en.htm

Rgds / Charles.C

added - If of any interest, these 2 links relate to consequence statistics in USA and UK respectively –

http://www.cdc.gov/n...ol5no5/mead.htm

http://birdflubook.c...ces/adak365.pdf

This link discusses some of the problems (in Europe) of standardising consequence information –

http://whqlibdoc.who...(5)_469-484.pdf


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 Carvalho

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:58 PM

Thank you one more time. Your help is being very usefull. I will stay in touch.






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