The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Food Consumers' Awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance, OneHealth, and Animal Welfare Information on Food Labels

Áine Regan*, Sharon Sweeney, Claire McKernan, Tony Benson, John Hyland, Moira Dean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Covid-19 is a OneHealth crisis with far-reaching and unexpected impacts on many aspects of society. Previous OneHealth issues, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), have not received a similar level of attention or action from the public despite representing significant public health and economic threats to society. The current study aimed to explore whether the Covid-19 pandemic may act as a catalyst to increase public awareness related to OneHealth issues, in particular, AMR. This short paper presents overview findings from a survey carried out in September 2020 with a representative sample of food consumers on the island of Ireland (n = 972). The survey revealed Covid-19 had increased awareness of AMR amongst 47% of respondents; increased awareness of connected animal and human health amongst 43% of respondents; and increased awareness of animal welfare information on food labels amongst 34% of respondents. A cluster analysis revealed five distinct consumer segments impacted differently by Covid-19. These segments differed in their levels of objective and subjective knowledge of antibiotic use practises in farming, AMR risk perception, and attributions of responsibility for action on AMR. Findings are discussed with respect to future efforts by the agri-food sector to communicate with the public about AMR and responsible antibiotic use in farming, with particular emphasis on the implications for strategies that incorporate front-of-pack labelling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number678509
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume8
Early online date29 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 29 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Veterinary Science
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • antibiotics
  • consumer behaviour
  • COVID-19
  • food choice
  • labelling

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