Following the Reasoned Action Approach, the aim of this study was to explore consumers' top-of-mind food safety beliefs about local beef. Beef consumers recruited from farmers' markets (N = 101) and grocery stores (N = 174) across the state of Alabama participated in face-to-face intercept surveys. The survey included closed- and open-ended questions designed to elicit consumers' food safety beliefs about local beef. Results indicate that beef safety was not a top-of-mind concern for a majority of participants, however of the total number of participants familiar with the term “local beef” (n = 168, 61%), a majority (n = 105, 63%) associated local beef with improved food safety. Content analysis of verbatim text revealed that consumers believed local beef was safer because they possess greater knowledge about the product and less shipping was involved. Respondents also believe that locally processed meat is derived from small-scale operations which provided the assurance that local beef is more likely to meet U.S. regulatory standards and therefore be safer. Consumers believe they have more oversight of local beef due to both their relationships with supply chain actors and proximity which also provided food safety assurances.
- Food safety
- Local foods