Photo of Dr. Christine Bruhn

Dr. Bruhn’s research focuses on consumer issues in food safety and quality, including consumer attitudes toward new food production methods or processing technologies. She investigates consumer food handling practices, quantifies food safety concerns, explores consumer information needs and identifies preferred sources of information. Further, her laboratory investigates consumer responses to information about issues in the news that impacts health and safety.

Will knowing which foods are most likely to cause severe foodborne illness increase consumer and industry vigilance? “Risky Meat,” Center for Science and the Public Interest’s (CSPI) April 23 report stated this as their goal, but they miss an opportunity to offer guidance that could really make a difference. “Risky Meat,” written by Sarah Klein and Caroline Smith DeWaal, ranked meat and poultry products from highest to lowest risk based upon 12 years of CDC outbreak data and over 1,700 outbreaks. Rather than merely counting illnesses, the severity of the illness was calculated using the hospitalization rate. For
Continue Reading Risky Meat, Missed Opportunity

Choosing healthy food is complicated for consumers when they are faced with conflicting recommendations. In the case of the healthiest foods – fruits and vegetables – the choice should be very easy. Consumers simply should be eating more. Whether organically or conventionally grown, consumers can choose either with confidence. Unfortunately, this very simple “eat more” message universally carried by health experts, consumer advocates and environmental groups is being undermined by misleading information questioning the safety of these healthful foods due to pesticide residues. This information is often presented without scientific validity or credibility. The most recent example comes from the
Continue Reading For Fruits and Veggies, the Choice Should Be Easy