Perceptions, expectations and uncertainty reduction strategies
European beef consumption has been gradually declining during the past decades, while consumers' concerns about beef safety have increased. This paper explores consumer perceptions of and interest in beef safety and beef safety information, and their role in beef safety assessment and the beef consumption decision making process. Eight focus group discussions were performed with a total of 65 beef consumers in four European countries. Content analysis revealed that European consumers experienced difficulties in the assessment of the safety of beef and beef products and adopted diverging uncertainty reduction strategies. These include the use of colour, labels, brands and indications of origin as cues signalling beef safety. In general, consumer trust in beef safety was relatively high, despite distrust in particular actors.