This study examines whether students’ experience in a food safety class affected their responses to the monosodium glutamate (MSG) issue and to message framing. We differentiated students into two groups depending on their involvement in a food safety class. The data were collected through in-class surveys in South Korea. A structural equation model was used where the dependent variable was students’ intention to avoid MSG; the mediating variables were knowledge, trust, attitude, and risk perception; and the exogenous variable was class experience. A difference-in-differences scheme was used to analyze the interaction between class experience and message frame. Empirical results show that students who took the class had relatively more knowledge of MSG along with lower risk perceptions or fears of MSG and thus a reduced intention to avoid it. The class experience also affected their trust in overall food safety in the domestic market as well as in food-related institutions and groups. Students showed sensitivity to message framing, although the sensitivity did not statistically differ by students’ class experience status. Our results imply that cultivating students’ knowledge of food additives through a food safety class enables them to respond more reasonably toward food additives.
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