Food safety primary consumer concern, study reveals

Oct. 24, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS — A new study released by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) reveals a variable level of confidence among U.S. consumers in a number of food-system areas, including food safety, nutrition, obesity and the humane treatment of animals.
According to the study, food safety remains the primary area of concern for consumers. When it comes to ensuring the safety of the food supply, consumers place the most responsibility directly with farmers and food companies. However, they have only a moderate level of trust in farmers for ensuring food safety and a lower level of trust in food companies and processors and federal regulatory agencies.
Consumers also indicated only a moderate level of agreement with the following statements about food safety:
  • 54 percent strongly agreed they trusted food produced in the U.S. more than food produced outside of the U.S
  • 33 percent strongly agreed U.S. food is among the safest in the world
  • 25 percent strongly agreed they are as confident in the safety of the food they eat as they were a year ago
Other survey results include:
  • Consumers trust themselves most to ensure good nutrition of the food they eat, followed by doctors and dieticians, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Consumers hold themselves most responsible for obesity, followed by the person who prepares food in the home, food companies and processors,and restaurants.
  • Consumers feel farmers are most responsible for the humane treatment of animals; however, they have only a moderate level of trust that treatment of animals on U.S. farms is consistent with consumer values and ethics.
  • 63 percent of all respondents strongly agreed that if farm animals are treated decently and humanely, they would have no problem consuming meat, milk and eggs.
The research study was commissioned by CMA Consulting LLC of Kansas City, and licensed to the Center for Food Integrity and its members. Participants included more than 2,000 consumers nationwide who have the primary responsibility for purchasing food for preparation within their household.

Topics: Associations , Food & Beverage , Operations Management

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