Consumer attitudes to meat decontamination

| May 10, 2013

The UK Food Standards Agency has carried out a survey of consumers asking them to give their views about slaughterhouse decontamination treatments for raw meat as part of a long-term project to reduce levels of Campylobacter in poultry.

The survey, conducted in 2012, included over 2,000 people across the country who were asked to express views about four potential decontamination treatments: rapid chilling, lactic acid, hot water or steam and ozone.

Initial reaction to lactic acid and ozone treatments was strongly negative, with only 15% and 12% respectively finding them acceptable. By contrast, more than half of those surveyed were in favour of the rapid chilling process, while 41% found hot water or steam treatment acceptable.

The survey also looked at how responses changed when consumers were given some additional explanation about the treatments. Armed with more information, 54% of respondents found the lactic acid treatment acceptable, while 69% were then in favour of rapid chilling.

More information can be found here.

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