Start Date

7-1-2011 2:30 PM

End Date

7-1-2011 10:15 AM

Track

2. Track 2 - Poster Session

Subject Area

Food Service

Faculty Member

Dr. Howook “Sean” Chang (schang2@fsu.edu) Dr. Kyungmi Seo (kmseo@fsu.edu)

Abstract

Americans spend almost 50% of their food dollars on restaurant meals, and approximately 44% of adults eat at a restaurant each day (NRA, 2009). As the trend of eating out continues to increase due to challenges associated with work and social life, customers expect to receive safe food served in a clean and sanitary environment (Binkley, Nanivadekar, Thompson, & Brashears, 2010). Therefore, the successful restaurant needs to meet and exceed the customer’s expectations. In particular, HACCP and Servsafe certifications have been a critical in providing customers with safe food. In the academic domain, food safety has been a vital research subject in the food science and hospitality journals, which mostly highlight food-borne disease outbreaks that result from biological food hazards (Arnout & Lynn, 2008; Redmond & Griffith, 2003; Worsfold, 2006). Another prevailing trend reflecting food safety in the food retail and restaurant industry is the consumption of organic food. Consumer’s concerns over the quality and safety of conventional food have driven the increasing demand for organically grown food, which is perceived as healthier and safer. It is believed that organic food contains fewer agrochemical residues, such as endogenous plant toxins, biological pesticides, and pathogenic microorganisms, as well as fewer environmental contaminants (e.g., cadmium and other heavy metals) compared to conventionally grown alternatives (Magkos, Arvaniti, & Zampelas, 2006). With respect to other food hazards, a certain substance from a particular cookware can seep into the food. For example, cooking with utensils like aluminum skillets, roasting pans, and saucepans can expose customers to the ingestion of a potent neurotoxin that leached from the aluminum cookware into the food (Flaten, 1996; Karbouj, Desloges, & Nortier, 2009). Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised red flags about one of the chemical constituents of nonstick coatings, perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA), claiming that research in laboratory suggests that it may be carcinogenic (Weise, 2006). The agency believed that scratching or overheating the material may leach toxins into food or release fumes into the air. Thus, the EPA called on cookware manufacturers to phase out PFOA in January 2006. Spurred by the voluntary ban on PFOA, DuPont, which supplies the nonstick coating used by cookware manufacturers, is committed to removing 95 percent of the PFOA in Teflon by 2010. The company is striving toward a complete phase-out by 2015. Hence, these headlines in the media increased consumer awareness of health risk associated with using Teflon cookware. However, this issue has never been a primary concern for restaurant operators or customers alike although customers have become increasingly concerned about risks related to food.

Unlike restaurant customers, U.S. households’ concern over risks related to food might have reflected on recent sales volume of safer and healthier cookware, such as anodized aluminum or stainless steel cookware. Even celebrity chefs entered into the market by endorsing safer and healthier cookware sets for the household kitchen market. For example, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, and Paula Deen have apparently helped consumer awareness of safe cookware and increase the sales volume. With an increasing number of consumers chooses safer cookware for a healthy meal at home, fewer restaurants are meeting customer’s needs concerning safe cookware at our present state of knowledge. It is hard to find a restaurant providing the customer with information about what type of cookware they use for a specific food.

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate whether using safe cookware and educating the customer about it would improve customer’s perceived quality of food and overall value and to examine whether they can play a role as an attribute in selecting a restaurant. This study also aims at indentifying which socio-demographics is likely to weigh more on safe cookware in selecting a restaurant.

Keywords

Food safety, Food quality, Safe cookware



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Jan 7th, 2:30 PM Jan 7th, 10:15 AM

Exploring a New Attribute in Determining Food Quality: Safe Cookware

Americans spend almost 50% of their food dollars on restaurant meals, and approximately 44% of adults eat at a restaurant each day (NRA, 2009). As the trend of eating out continues to increase due to challenges associated with work and social life, customers expect to receive safe food served in a clean and sanitary environment (Binkley, Nanivadekar, Thompson, & Brashears, 2010). Therefore, the successful restaurant needs to meet and exceed the customer’s expectations. In particular, HACCP and Servsafe certifications have been a critical in providing customers with safe food. In the academic domain, food safety has been a vital research subject in the food science and hospitality journals, which mostly highlight food-borne disease outbreaks that result from biological food hazards (Arnout & Lynn, 2008; Redmond & Griffith, 2003; Worsfold, 2006). Another prevailing trend reflecting food safety in the food retail and restaurant industry is the consumption of organic food. Consumer’s concerns over the quality and safety of conventional food have driven the increasing demand for organically grown food, which is perceived as healthier and safer. It is believed that organic food contains fewer agrochemical residues, such as endogenous plant toxins, biological pesticides, and pathogenic microorganisms, as well as fewer environmental contaminants (e.g., cadmium and other heavy metals) compared to conventionally grown alternatives (Magkos, Arvaniti, & Zampelas, 2006). With respect to other food hazards, a certain substance from a particular cookware can seep into the food. For example, cooking with utensils like aluminum skillets, roasting pans, and saucepans can expose customers to the ingestion of a potent neurotoxin that leached from the aluminum cookware into the food (Flaten, 1996; Karbouj, Desloges, & Nortier, 2009). Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised red flags about one of the chemical constituents of nonstick coatings, perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA), claiming that research in laboratory suggests that it may be carcinogenic (Weise, 2006). The agency believed that scratching or overheating the material may leach toxins into food or release fumes into the air. Thus, the EPA called on cookware manufacturers to phase out PFOA in January 2006. Spurred by the voluntary ban on PFOA, DuPont, which supplies the nonstick coating used by cookware manufacturers, is committed to removing 95 percent of the PFOA in Teflon by 2010. The company is striving toward a complete phase-out by 2015. Hence, these headlines in the media increased consumer awareness of health risk associated with using Teflon cookware. However, this issue has never been a primary concern for restaurant operators or customers alike although customers have become increasingly concerned about risks related to food.

Unlike restaurant customers, U.S. households’ concern over risks related to food might have reflected on recent sales volume of safer and healthier cookware, such as anodized aluminum or stainless steel cookware. Even celebrity chefs entered into the market by endorsing safer and healthier cookware sets for the household kitchen market. For example, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, and Paula Deen have apparently helped consumer awareness of safe cookware and increase the sales volume. With an increasing number of consumers chooses safer cookware for a healthy meal at home, fewer restaurants are meeting customer’s needs concerning safe cookware at our present state of knowledge. It is hard to find a restaurant providing the customer with information about what type of cookware they use for a specific food.

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate whether using safe cookware and educating the customer about it would improve customer’s perceived quality of food and overall value and to examine whether they can play a role as an attribute in selecting a restaurant. This study also aims at indentifying which socio-demographics is likely to weigh more on safe cookware in selecting a restaurant.