Using best-worst scaling to explore perceptions of relative responsibility for ensuring food safety

Seda Erdem, Dan Rigby, Ada Wossink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine stakeholders' perceptions of the share of the overall responsibility of each stage in the food supply chain has in ensuring that the meat people cook and eat at home is safe to consume. We elicit these perceptions of relative responsibility via surveys using the best-worst scaling technique and analyse the data via Bayesian estimation of mixed logit models. Results are reported for two groups of stakeholders: consumers and farmers, and for two meat food chains: chicken and beef. The results reveal that consumers tend to think farmers are more responsible for ensuring meat safety than farmers do. Similarly, farmers tend to think consumers have a greater degree of responsibility than consumers believe they have themselves. Such beliefs might affect stakeholders' willingness to take actions and reduce hazards in the supply chain. From a policy perspective, the research findings provide useful insights to support policymakers and other decision-makers in the industry in developing mitigation strategies. Communication with consumers and farmers about emerging food safety problems in a supply chain and their involvement in proactive practices would need to be attuned to their subjective perceptions of relative responsibilities in order for integrated risk management systems to be effective. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-670
Number of pages9
JournalFood Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Best worst scaling
  • Food safety
  • Maximum Difference Scaling
  • Perceptions
  • Responsibility


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