Publicly accessible food safety inspection reports are a standard procedure to inform consumers on restaurants' food safety levels in many countries. This study examined how different formats of food safety inspection report are associated with consumer perceptions related to food safety, as well as other perceptions about the restaurant. The study was conducted in Denmark and Finland with similar inspection grade systems but differences in the distribution of awarded grades. We conducted a population-based survey experiment with a between-subjects design on nationally representative samples of the 18-70 years old Danish (n = 978) and Finnish (n = 907) populations. Respondents received one of six food safety inspection reports with different combinations of inspection grade with a smiley and/or text. According to the results, both Danish and Finnish consumers' food safety perceptions of the same grade were more positive when the report included a smiley, and more negative when the report included a text. Finnish respondents perceived a good food safety inspection grade more positively than Danish respondents but there were no country differences when the grade was poor. In addition, food safety inspection results elicited perceptions that were not related to food safety in both countries. The results suggest that if the grade is poor, the inclusion of text is effective in eliciting perceptions of increased food safety risk. If the grade is good, a standalone smiley may be most effective in eliciting positive perceptions of a high food safety level. Moreover, these results indicate the importance of carefully evaluating how to develop public accessible inspection grades to ensure they are correctly interpreted by consumers in different countries.
TidskriftFood Control
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - feb. 2023
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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