A review of food recalls in Canada: a Nationwide Survey
Food Protection (https://www.foodprotection.org/files/food-protection-trends/jul-aug-19-charlebois.pdf) published a study examining the consumer perspective of the Canadian food recall system. An online survey was used to determine if recall fatigue is a problem among consumers. Recall fatigue happens when consumers are inundated with such an excess of information on food recalls that it causes apathy toward food safety. Optimistic bias, the belief that others are at risk, but not one’s self, also contributes to recall fatigue, which can lead to public health risks. Results indicate that although consumers generally have some knowledge of food recalls, they do not retain or subsequently internalize information about all food recalls. Results also indicate that Canadians have confidence in the current recall system. However, Canadians across all demographics place the responsibility for food safety on others, namely the federal government. Despite the fact that foodborne illnesses can originate at home, the majority of Canadians believe they are more likely to occur as a result of actions taken before food reaches their home. The article concludes that the combination of apparent information overload, optimistic bias and inaccurate risk assessment regarding food recalls puts Canadians at risk of recall fatigue.