Drawing on an extensive literature review, a conceptual model incorporating marketing and psychometric paradigms for assessing consumer purchase behaviour is developed in the context of a hazardous and harmful risk associated with potentially contaminated food. An empirical study of 200 respondents was carried out to test this conceptual model. Structural equation modelling using LISREL 8.30 confirmed the link between perceived risk characteristics and risk perception, and that the latter appears to influence purchase behaviour. Concern about potential consequences, long-term adverse impacts and the involuntariness of exposure were key shapers of risk perception, and risk perception itself was measured by health, money, time, lifestyle and taste losses in this study. These findings can help both the food industry and its regulators as they seek to formulate effective risk management and communication strategies. The model developed in this exploratory study can be extended to all commodities, as well as all services industry.