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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Consumers’ food safety risk information-seeking behavior plays a vital role in improving their food quality and safety awareness and preventing food safety risks. Based on the Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model (RISP), this paper empirically analyzes the food safety risk information-seeking intention of consumers in WeChat and influencing factors under the impact of food safety incidents. We use data from 774 WeChat users and apply the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. We also conduct multigroup analysis with demographic characteristics as moderating variables. The results demonstrated that: (1) Risk perception (p ≤ 0.01) has direct significant positive effects on consumers’ intention to seek food safety information. Besides, higher risk perception (p ≤ 0.01) regarding food safety risks will make people feel more anxious and threatened, and then expand the gap between the information they need and the relevant knowledge they actually have (p ≤ 0.1), which will further stimulate them to seek more information (p ≤ 0.05). (2) Informational subjective norms (p ≤ 0.01) can not only directly affect consumers’ information-seeking about food safety, but also indirectly affect consumers’ intention through information insufficiency (p ≤ 0.01). (3) The more consumers trust the relevant channels (p ≤ 0.01), the stronger their intention to search for food safety risk information. Moreover, the multiple-group analysis also shows that the effects of consumers’ gender, age, educational background, and average monthly earnings are different among different groups. Furthermore, implications are put forward for food safety risk communication efforts in China.

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health