New Survey Finds Majority of Americans Confident in the Safety of U.S. Food Supply
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans will fall ill as a result of a foodborne disease each year.
But, according to a new survey published by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), 78 percent of Americans are still very or somewhat confident in the safety of the U.S. food supply. That number is up from findings from IFIC’s 2011 annual report that revealed that only half of Americans were confident in the U.S. food supply.
Also surprising, more than 60 percent of Americans agree that their chances of contracting a foodborne illness or food poisoning are extremely low.
So, what changed? Why do the majority of American consumers suddenly have more faith in the safety of the food they eat?
Some speculate whether this recent spike in confidence of the domestic food supply can be attributed to the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that was signed into law on January 4, 2011. President Barack Obama’s administration has also pushed to enhance food safety initiatives in the U.S. But more likely, the confidence stems from a proven track record in U.S. food safety over the past decade that is second to none.
This newfound trust in the preparation and production of U.S. food has led consumers to raise the stakes for those within the food and beverage industry.
More than eight out of ten Americans admit to giving at least some thought to the safety of their foods and beverages over the past year. And, one in six has stopped purchasing a specific brand of food due to safety concerns. The spike in confidence has also led to a steady decline in consumers following key food safety practices, such as washing produce prior to consumption and disregarding past due dates on dairy products, which is interesting since Americans trust themselves the most when it comes to ensuring the safety of their food.
With the majority of consumers failing to follow these best practices to ensure food safety, it is largely up to those within the industry to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect public health. This increase in pressure should lead companies to review Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). After all, the slightest concern for safety in a food source may drastically shift the purchasing habits of consumers.
Are IFIC’s survey findings surprising? What else do you think has led to the majority of American consumers’ increased trust in the domestic food supply? How could this potentially impact your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) moving forward? Your thoughts are welcome below.
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