Reporter 458, 6 November 2000

Food safety messages tested on consumers

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has awarded a research contract to Leeds University Business School and partner organisations to produce tested good-practice advice to help the agency handle real food risk situations.

The three-year, £350,000 research contract will look at how to provide the public with balanced information on food safety issues and effective advice on mitigating any food risk.

The project will develop a number of hypothetical food risk scenarios and explore how communications about these are understood. Strategies will be tested on panels drawn from consumer groups, industry and farming, health professionals, environmental and organic interest groups and the general public.

Dr John Maule of the Centre for Decision Research in LUBS said: "The publicís perception of what is calm and clear may be very different from those seeking to convey the information."

The project will also involve Manchester Business School and the City-based strategic communications consultancy Luther Pendragon.

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