The Informational Turn in Food Safety Regulation

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  • Title: The Informational Turn in Food Safety Regulation: US and Zambian Beef Markets
  • Author(s): Victoria Mukuni
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Food Studies
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Informational Turn, Food Safety, Beef Traceability, Beef Markets, Food Safety Regulation, Information Infrastructures
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: December 02, 2022
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Mukuni, Victoria. 2022. "The Informational Turn in Food Safety Regulation: US and Zambian Beef Markets." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 13 (2): 1-13. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v13i02/1-13.
  • Extent: 13 pages

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Food safety is an important aspect of food and food information infrastructures as it has direct consequences on consumers and the market in general. Issues like traceability bring to the forefront the significance of studying these infrastructures. This article explores how the traceability of beef can be used to understand information infrastructures in food safety and how traceability has been used as a regulatory device to avoid certain kinds of risks in the United States and the Republic of Zambia. This article shows that Xaq Frohlich’s informational turn in United States food policy has made visible niches within the US beef market. Frohlich’s informational turn names the direction in which the food system in the United States has undergone by the use of information found on labels to regulate. This article contrasts the informational turn with Zambia’s food system and demonstrates how traceability as a regulatory device has brought to light issues of trust and highlighted certain food safety concerns like dietary restrictions, bioterrorism, and foodborne illnesses. In both countries, trust in institutions, political leaders, and science and technology influences risk culture. For the Zambian public, trust is in local political leaders, individuals, and brands. For the US public, trust is in information and knowledge of producers, which is found on labels. The Zambian public generally trusts institutions but is more concerned about the affordability and availability of beef products.