ARBEN VERÇUNI1, EDVIN ZHLLIMA1*, DRINI IMAMI1, BIZENA BIJO2, XHULIETA HAMITI3, YLLI BICOKU4
1 Faculty of Economics and Agribusiness, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
2Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
3Natural Science Faculty, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
4Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania.
This is an exploratory study based on a structured survey aimed at assessing Albanian consumer awareness about food safety assurance, standards and institutions. This paper analyzes the Albanian consumer perceptions, awareness and information about safety of food products. According to the research findings, about 30 percent of respondents perceive meat products as unsafe; meanwhile 20 percent of respondents perceive dairy products as unsafe. There is a much higher distrust in relation with salami products – about 80 percent of the respondents perceive salami as unsafe. Approximately 80 percent of consumers stated that they are not aware of HACCP, 56 percent are not aware of ISO, and 52 percent do not know the institution accountable for food safety (National Food Authority). Awareness, information and promotional programs can improve consumers’ behavior with regard to food safety and reduce the public health risk.