Consumer Perception of Antibiotic-Free and Hormone-free Meat Products

Lindsey Newman, Joey Mehlhorn, Rachna Tewari, Barbara Darroch


The use of food labels has become a popular resource that consumers use to determine if their food is safe. Some meat packages contain labels stating “antibiotic-free” or “hormone-free” meat, which can cause consumer concerns about health risk for other meat not labeled. The purpose of this study was to assess consumer views of meat that is labeled antibiotic-free or hormone-free, and meat that lacks those labels. A survey was created to determine consumer perception of meat products and sent to approximately 162 potential respondents. Ninety-one adults participated in the survey for a response rate of 56%. Chi-square tests were used to determine if age, agriculture knowledge or education level was related to the participants’ responses to selected survey questions. Agriculture knowledge was significant in consumer perception of non-labeled meat being healthier (P=0.0017), willingness to pay more for labeled products (P=0.0009) and concern for purchasing products not labeled (P=0.0362). Education level and age had no significant relationship to any questions asked in the survey. The perception that meat products lacking labels contain antibiotics or hormones is not related (P=0.05) to age, agriculture knowledge or age. The results from the data collected showed that 50% of the respondents thought meat products with “antibiotic-free” and “hormone-free” labels were healthier than other products not labeled. Sixty-three percent believed that meat products lacking labels contained antibiotics or hormones; however, a majority of the respondents were not concerned about purchasing meat products that were not labeled.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Lindsey Newman, Joey Mehlhorn, Rachna Tewari, Barbara Darroch

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Journal of Food Studies (ISSN 2166-1073)

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