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HHS HealthBeat (March 17, 2011)

The cost of safer food

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Making food safer can cost money, so a researcher at Ohio State University looked into what consumers might pay extra for added protection.

Brian Roe and colleagues used a national survey coupled with a model that predicts consumer behavior, figuring it could account for things like worry and fear of illness. He says people were willing to pay more, but that willingness went down as the price went up, even if the price would produce more safety.

Roe also says people can pay with a little work and get safer food by themselves:

``Cook things thoroughly, refrigerate at proper temperatures, all those are excellent methods for improving food safety.’’ (7 seconds)

The study in the journal Food Policy was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011