Consumer Perception of Novel Restaurant Hygiene Certificates and Evaluation Criteria for Food Safety
As more people consume food away from home, there is growing interest in hygienic conditions at restaurants. To respond to public concerns, the Korean Health Department has developed and implemented a new restaurant hygiene certificate system. This study investigated how the new restaurant hygiene certificate has been accepted by the public by measuring the perception of message quality and evaluation criteria for restaurant food safety practices. This study used an online survey to collect data and analyzed the data with an independent t-test, exploratory factor analysis, Mann–Whitney U test, and Kruskal–Wallis H test. Questionnaires determined restaurant hygiene certificate awareness, message quality, and evaluation criteria regarding restaurant food safety practices, general eating out behaviors, and demographic characteristics. Significant differences in message quality were found among respondents who were aware of the certificates and those who were not. There were significant demographic differences in the four factors respondents used to evaluate food safety practices at restaurants: restaurant hygiene certificates, cleanliness, sensory perception, and restaurant image. The results of this study suggest that the restaurant hygiene certificate system has been well received by the public but requires greater restaurant participation for enhanced public awareness.
Speaker / Author:
Jinkyung Choi, PhD, RD, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Pukyong National University