Food safety research often focuses on the supply side — production and processing — and identifying ways to reduce, manage and mitigate contaminants and foodborne pathogens. However, consumers are important actors who can drive positive change in market systems through their demand for safe, nutritious foods. Their purchasing decisions can create demand, impact pricing and spur the supply side to offer value-added products with sustainable production practices, nutrient enrichment or higher levels of food safety. Even with limited budgets, consumers in low- and middle-income countries balance priorities such as food type, quantity and quality, including food safety. Understanding and quantifying consumer demand for food safety can provide incentives to producers and to make informed decisions on market development of safer food products.

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