Safe Food Handling: Knowledge, Perceptions, and Self-Reported Practices of Turkish Consumers

  •  Gul Aygen    


This study examines Turkish consumers’ perceptions and knowledge of safe food handling practices. Their
attitudes, opinions, and self-reported practices in the purchase, transportation, storage, preparation, and
consumption of food were studied. Data was collected from a total of 440 consumers living in Istanbul, Turkey
through the use of a self-administered, structured, and undisguised questionnaire. A combination of stratified and
systematic random sampling was used based on the incidence of having or not having experienced food-related
illness within the past year. Significant differences were found to exist in the perceptions, opinions, knowledge,
and self-reported practices of those who had experienced food-borne illness in the past twelve months versus
those who had not. Significant differences were also found with respect to various demographic variables,
especially, with respect to age and education levels. Implications of the study for various parties, namely,
consumers, producers, retailers, and the state together with further research are also presented in the paper. These
implications may be applicable in different countries as well, since food-borne diseases experienced due to bad
food-handling practices still present a major challenge to peoples’ health, in both the developed and the
developing world.

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