Social media for insights into foodborne illness dynamics during COVID-19
Date & Time
Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 3:20 PM - 3:40 PM

Social media continues to grow as a common information source for public health issues, providing opportunities to enhance education and outreach. The FDA pursued a social media project to capture consumer food safety concerns, perceptions, and behaviors toward better understanding foodborne illness dynamics during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic from March to October 2020. The main topics of focus included consumer experiences with foodborne illness and care-seeking, personal hygiene, food handling, and cooking and grocery shopping patterns; for example, did consumers wash produce more, did they sanitize and wash their hands more, were they worried that foodborne illness symptoms were really COVID-19, or did they avoid going to the doctor for a foodborne illness for fear of exposure to COVID-19? The popular social media platforms queried included Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, forums, blogs, and news. This session will walk through the steps of designing a social media project for English- and Spanish speakers, understanding limitations, using the results to help inform education and outreach, and identifying emerging issues.  

Session Type
Concurrent Track Session
Virtual Session Link