Food safety leads top food stories lists

by Food Safety Monitor Staff
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NEW YORK — In a survey conducted by Hunter Public Relations consumers were asked what were the most memorable food stories of 2009 and the past decade and food safety ranked at or near the top of both lists.

For 2009, food safety concerns ranked as the No. 1 issue ahead of the economic recession’s impact on food banks and consumer’s cutting spending. The public relations firm noted that “From E. coli in ground beef to Salmonella poisoning in nuts, thousands of Americans have been sickened, prompting food recalls of everything from baby food to green onions.”

For the decade, the rise in the incidence of childhood obesity captured the No. 1 position, but food safety issues filled the following three slots. The No. 2 story for the decade was the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the U.S., according to Hunter Public Relations. Food safety and concerns about foodborne illness was the No. 3 food story of the decade on the list. The survey found that Americans ages 55+ were more likely than other age groups to select food safety as the most significant story of the decade.

Rounding out the top 4 food stories of the decade was the importation of feed and food products from China potentially contaminated with melamine. The issue has led to calls for stricter food import regulations in the United States and has been an underlying issue driving the development and potential passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

In its seventh year, the Top Food Stories survey was conducted on-line and included 1,000 people aged 18+. FSM
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