Publication journal: Food Control

Authors: Octavian Augustin Mihalache (first author), Loredana Dumitrașcu, Anca Ioana Nicolau, Daniela Borda (corresponding author)

Affiliation: Faculty of Food Science and Engineering, Dunarea de Jos University of Galati (UGAL)


Funding source: Horizon 2020, project Safe Consume, grant agreement no. 727580

The paper describes the relationship between food safety knowledge, food shopping attitude, and self-reported kitchen practices, among 985 Romanian consumers, based on an online survey.

Regardless of education, age and place of inhabitancy, Romanian consumers considered food quality, food safety and food taste as being more important variables of the food shopping attitude than food price.

Romanian participants were aware of potential risks caused by consumption of dirty fruits and vegetables and lack of hygiene in their kitchens, but less aware of the risks generated by the transmission of pathogens via the dish cloths. In addition, although participants showed good hand washing practices, many of them considered that hands washing with cold water is an improper hygiene practice for preventing foodborne diseases.

With the structural modelling approach, the study highlighted that:

  • Romanian consumers with wider safety knowledge, had a higher interest in food safety, food quality and food integrity when shopping food than those who do not know much on food safety;
  • Romanian consumers who take into account safety criteria when shopping and have knowledge on pathogens are more prone to apply good kitchen hygiene practices at home;
  • There is a need to initiate campaigns in Romania that emphasize on potential sources of contamination, practices that could prevent cross-contamination, and their projections to improve consumers’ food safety practices at home.