Beef food safety events have contributed to considerable market volatility, produced varied consumer reactions, created policy debates, sparked heated trade disputes, and generally contributed to beef industry frustrations. Better understanding of the forces causing observed consumer reactions in light of beef food safety events is critical for policy makers and industry participants. We examine whether consumers altered their beef consumption behavior because of their risk aversion and risk perceptions stemming from information about beef food safety in recent years. We use data from a total of 4,000 consumers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Japan to estimate a two-stage Probit/double-bounded Tobit modeling framework. Results reveal there are stark differences in risk perceptions and risk aversion regarding beef food safety across consumers in the four countries and that these differences are revealed through different beef consumption behavior. An improved understanding of food safety perceptions and attitudes will enable policy makers and agricultural industries to better anticipate consumers changing consumption behavior, if a food safety event occurs. Consumers from the four countries examined exhibited heterogeneous food safety perceptions and attitudes. Results suggest that food safety management strategies should vary across countries because of identified differences in food safety risk attitudes and risk perceptions.


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