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Abstract

The study analyzes two cases of E. coli outbreaks related to fresh produce, in the U.S. in 2006, and in Germany in 2011. The case analysis built on previous research how media coverage of foodborne illnesses influenced consumers’ risk perception. Reports by national newspapers and other targeted media, and official press releases and reports were compared. Market data and consumer purchasing behavior before and after the outbreak were analyzed for vegetables involved. Results show that media coverage and releases by governmental authorities affected consumer purchasing behavior in both cases. Furthermore, consumers seem to trust official advisories, in both countries.

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