Consumption of raw or undercooked meat increases the risk of infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Freezing meat products can eliminate this risk. Freezing of meat may affect consumers' valuation of meat products in two different ways: it may be valued positively because of increased food safety or valued negatively because of (perceived) loss of quality. In a Discrete Choice Experiment on four different meat products we studied the difference in willingness to pay for frozen and non-frozen meat products in the Netherlands. Analyses revealed that most Dutch consumer groups prefer non-frozen meat. Price was important in consumer decisions, whereas the meat being frozen appeared to play a minor role in the decision to purchase meat products. Even though it may seem obvious that people would prefer safe food to unsafe food, in a context where consumers presume food being safe, many consumers appear unwilling to pay for freezing of meat as additional measure to reduce the risk of food borne infections such as toxoplasmosis.

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Meat Science
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Lambooij, M., Veldwijk, J., van Gils, P. (Paul), Mangen, M. J. J., Over, E. (Eelco), Suijkerbuijk, A., … Opsteegh, M. (Marieke). (2019). Consumers' preferences for freezing of meat to prevent toxoplasmosis– A stated preference approach. Meat Science, 149, 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2018.11.001