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Abstract

Every year hundreds of food recalls are made due to contamination. The main focus of this paper is to examine the effects of specific food events on consumers’ confidence in food safety as well as their preparedness regarding the United States food system. The food events studied in this are major food-borne illnesses outbreaks and recalls that have occurred since May 2008. The three events chosen included: the salmonella outbreak in jalapeno and Serrano peppers occurring in 2008, the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter occurring in 2009, and the E.coli outbreak in Nestle cookie dough occurring in 2009. An ordered probit model was used to measure the effects that these specific foodborne illnesses had on consumers’ confidence. The results revealed that the effect of the jalapeno and Serrano peppers and peanut butter significantly and negatively impact consumers’ confidence. The Nestle recall had a negative impact on confidence but was not significant.

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