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					Irradiation to Improve Meat
           Safety
    What do consumers expect?

Studies show consumer attitudes on
meat safety and willingness to accept
         irradiated products
What do consumers really think?
   Several consumer studies have been
    conducted which help us understand their
    concerns and willingness to purchase
    irradiated meat products.
      What do Consumers Think?
   Kansas State Survey
     Mailed educational brochure consumers

     Followed by questionaire

     Results

        75% said they would buy at same $

        55% said they would buy at higher $

     Purchase at Meat Lab

        70% bought irradiated poultry at same price

        52% bought if $.10/lb higher
American Meat Institute
   Gallop interview
     54% would buy (after irradiation was

      explained)
Consumer survey
   University of GA
     45% would buy (if labeled)

     17% would not

     38% undecided
Consumer Preceptions
of Meat Irradiation
 Meat and Poultry magazine
 Sosland Research Services
 March 2000
Objectives
 Identify current level of consumer
  awareness about meat irradiation
 Determine consumer attitudes about
  irradiated meat
 Assess consumer willingness to purchase
  irradiated meat
 Determine consumer preferences for
  information sources of potential benefits
  and potential problems
Survey methods
 Surveyed random sample of 2000
  households in Kansas City
 Two Mailings in January 2000
 Returns accepted through March 10
 Received 372 completed surveys of 1,991
  valid addresses
Respondent Profile
 Female = 56.8%
 Mean age = 52 (20 – 88)
 Three-quarters (75.5%) were not currently
  raising children
Education level of respondents
      Did not
   complete H.S.    6.2%

   H. S. Gradute
                      8.1%

   Some College
                                   27.0%

 College Gradute
                                      30.1%
       Advanced
        degree                       28.8%

               0%   10%      20%   30%        40%
Income level of respondents

      (Low)
     Less than             (High)
     $20,000             $75,000 or
       30%                  more
                            27%
            (Medium)
            $35,000 to
             $74,999
              43%
  Ethnicity


          Other     5.4%



African American            18.1%



      Caucasian                                  76.5%


               0%          20%      40%   60%   80%      100%
Grocery Shopper Concerns


  Organic v. Non-Organic                 15.9%

preservatives and additives                      25.5%

 Nutritional Value of Food                                     42.9%

               Food Safety                                         51.2%

                              0%   10%   20%     30%     40%    50%    60%
Food-Related Risks
Ranked seriouness of food-related risks
1=least serious          5=most serious


               Malnutrition                   2.52

 Additives and Preservatives                   2.71

Environmental Contaminants                            3.27

          Pesticide Residues                           3.46

   Foodborne Illness/disease                                     4.07

                               0   1      2      3           4          5
How Safe is Food?
How comfortable are you that the food you buy is safe?
1=Not Comfortable at all           5=Very Comfortable




                                                    3.75
   Men                           3.36
                                                           All Food
                                              3.6          Meat and Poultry
Overall                   3.22

                                        3.5
Women                  3.13

          2.8    3      3.2      3.4      3.6       3.8
Bacterial Contamination in Meat
Concern that the following have bacterial Contamination
1=Not at all Concerned             5=Very Concerned


    Beef


   Pork


 Seafood


 Poultry


           2.6    2.8        3        3.2       3.4       3.6   3.8
Source of Meat Contamination
Where do you think the source of meat contamination occurs?


 80%
 70%
 60%
 50%
 40%
 30%
 20%
 10%
  0%
          Processing/                                    Distributors
                          Consumer      Grocery Stores
         Slaughtering
Are You Familiar with Meat Irradiation?

  80%
        71.8%
  70%
                  58.2%
  60%
  50%                      47.4%

  40%
  30%
  20%
  10%
   0%
        Men      Average   Women
INCOME
Are you familiar with Meat Irradiation?

  80%                              78.4%
  70%
  60%                   56.6%
  50%
           40.9%
  40%
  30%                                         % Yes

  20%
  10%
   0%
        Low income    Middle    High Income
                      Income
How do you feel about meat irradiation being
used to eliminate bacteria in meat?
1=Not at all Comfortable                 5=Very Comfortable

          35%                   31.8%
          30%
          25%                           22.7%

          20%           17.4%                                 mean=2.99
                15.7%
          15%                                                 women=2.72
                                                12.4%
                                                              men=3.33
          10%
           5%
           0%
                  1        2      3        4       5
How likely are you to buy irradiated meat?
1=Very Unlikely             4=Very Likely


  45%                     43.1%
  40%
  35%
  30%
                  25.8%
  25%                                       Women=2.51
  20%                                       Overall=2.65
                                   17.6%
  15% 13.6%                                 Men=2.87

  10%
   5%
   0%
           1         2       3          4
How likely are you to pay MORE for
Irradiated Meat?
1=Very Unlikely           4=Very Likely

  40%
                  35.4%    36.5%
  35%
  30%
  25%
  20%     17.1%                               mean=2.41
  15%
                                     11.0%
  10%
   5%
   0%
            1      2        3             4
Pay More for Irradiated Meat?
1=Very Unlikely                   4=Very Unlikely


        3.5
                  3.1
          3              2.65      2.49      2.38
        2.5                                           2.2
          2
        1.5
          1
        0.5
          0
               Did not   HS.       Some     College Advanced
              complete Graduate   College    grad    degree
                HS.
Sources consumers trust for information on
Meat Irradiation
  70%   67.2%
                62.1%
  60%
                        50.3%
  50%
  40%
                                  33.3%
  30%
  20%                                     15.6%
                                                    9.9%   9.4%
  10%                                                              5.4%

   0%
         Univ.   Health Medical   Govt     Home     Meat    Super Restaut
        Resrchrs Profs Organiz.           Ecnmsts   Cos.   markets eurs
Will they buy it??

 Strawberries - 1992, over 1000 pints sold in
  5 days in North Miami Beach
 Poultry - 1993, sold out of boneless breasts
  in 2 days in Northbrook, IL
 Poultry - has sold irradiated poultry since
  1993
Consumer education is important

 There is no health risk
 There is no environmental risk
 It will reduce (nearly eliminate) pathogens
 It will not replace other food safety
  procedures
 Low levels will not affect palatability
 It will result in a safer product
Any Questions?
Public Concerns??
 Will new potentially harmful, chemical
  compounds be created in irradiated foods?
 Would nutrients be lost if foods were
  irradiated?
 Can unscrupulous processors use irradiation
  to conceal contamination of spoiled foods?
 Will workers or others be exposed to
  dangerous levels of radiation?
      Why get involved?

   Irradiated ground beef is coming to a city near you,
    SOON
   Consumer activists may oppose it with scare tactics
      Don’t want another GMO debate

   Need the FACTS to answer consumer questions and
    to educate consumers
   We are NOT advocates for this technology, only
    have the facts to answer questions based on science
Are Consumer Concerns
Warranted?
Percent Willing to Pay More for
Irradiated Meat

   70%   64.9%
                                     61.0%
   60%
   50%                                        46.1%
                   42.4%   43.2%
   40%
   30%
   20%
   10%
    0%
          Low     Medium    High     African Caucasian
         Income   Income   Income   American
Grocery Shoppers
how often do you grocery shop each week?

1 time per month
     or less     0.3%

 5 or more times
                        4.9%

       3-4 times
                                     23.9%

       1-2 times
                                                                 70.9%

                   0%   10%    20%    30%    40%   50%   60%   70%   80%

				
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