Purpose: This study aimed to review consumer food safety studies to consolidate and cumulatively determine consumer cognitive and behavioural risk factors that may be associated with listeriosis in the home.
Methods: Consumer food safety research data (n=200) were reviewed and analysed using a content analysis approach. Findings were summarized according to assessment of knowledge, attitudes, self-reported practices, and/or actual behaviours of listeriosis risk factors.
Results: Overall, only 43% of studies assessed consumer cognitive or behavioural data associated with listeriosis risk factors; 27% assessed refrigeration practices, 23% determined storage length of opened RTE foods and 21% ascertain adherence of ‘use-by’ dates. Majority (71%) of studies utilized survey based data collection methods (questionnaires/interviews), consequently, the majority of findings were based on self-report (78%) and knowledge (59%). Observation (21%) and focus groups (8%) were less commonly used. Consequently findings of this study indicate that actual behaviours and attitudinal data relating to listeriosis risk factors are lacking. Although findings suggest consumers may deviate from recommended practices, a lack of observational data suggests a need to determine the actual behaviours of consumers in domestic kitchens in relation to listeriosis risk factors.
Significance: This review reveals a need for in-depth research to determine food safety attitudes and actual behaviours of consumers in conjunction with self-reported practices and knowledge of listeriosis risk factors. Such data combined with review findings would inform development of targeted food safety education to reduce risks associated with listeriosis in the home.