Consumption Data and Consumer Handling Practices of Leafy Greens in the City of São Paulo, Brazil: Useful Information for Quantitative Microbiological Consumer Phase Risk Assessments

Daniele Fernanda Maffei, Monica Adriana Silveira, Marcelo Belchior Rosendo da Silva, Debora Andrade Moreira, Felipe Rebello Lourenço, Donald W. Schaffner, Bernadette Dora Gombossy de Melo Franco Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 224-231, Jul 2020 Volume 40, Issue 4: Pages 224–231

This study surveyed consumers in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, on their consumption and handling practices for leafy greens. A 14-question survey was administered in two large supermarkets in the city. The majority of the 225 participants who responded were female (64%); 42.2% were single and 33.3% were age 31–50 years. Almost all participants (98%) reported eating leafy greens regularly, with an average daily consumption of ~60 g per meal (~60 to 120 g per day). Lettuce, arugula and collard greens were the most frequently cited varieties. The preferred shopping locations were farmers’ markets and supermarkets. All consumers reported washing leafy greens prior to consumption, most using tap water only, followed by those who used water with added culinary vinegar and those who used chlorinated water. Pearson’s chi-square test results indicated no statistically significant relationship (P > 0.05) between the demographic characteristics of participants and their consumption behavior or practices of handling leafy greens, indicating that gender, age, marital status and educational level did not significantly influence consumption patterns, shopping locations, produce storage conditions or produce washing procedures. These data on the consumption patterns and handling practices of leafy greens are important to the exposure assessment component in future risk assessment models.

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