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Food Safety Labeling Claims Study

January 27, 2005

Background and Objectives

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service published an interim final rule on control of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products (9 CFR 430). The provision in 9 CFR 430 states: An establishment that controls Listeria monocytogenes by using a post-lethality treatment or an antimicrobial agent or process that eliminates or reduces, or suppresses or limits growth of the organism may declare this fact on the product label provided that the establishment has validated the claim.

The International Food Information Council Foundation is interested in understanding the impact such labeling has on consumer perceptions of food safety.

To achieve this objective, the IFIC Foundation commissioned Cogent Research to conduct a study to address the following issues:

  • Assess current pre-packaged and deli lunchmeat purchasing behavior
  • Evaluate the impact of seven statement scenarios on likelihood to purchase and perceptions of product safety.  Scenarios included:
    • Five statements
    • USDA Mark of Inspection only (control)
    • No mark/No statement
  • Evaluate the five statements in terms of awareness, clarity, and importance

Download a PDF of the full study.

See the accompanying “Questionnaire for Report” PDF document for the final questionnaire.

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