IFIC survey finds food safety trust slipping

by Jeff Gelski
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Six out of ten Americans are confident in the U.S. food supply's safety.

WASHINGTON — The food industry may talk about food safety efforts, but Americans are more likely to trust several other groups, according to “What’s Your Health Worth?”, the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 10th anniversary food and health survey released May 12.

When asked which source they would trust the most to provide accurate information about food safety, 65% of survey respondents said their personal health care professional. Ranking second through five were U.S. government agencies (42%), a friend or family member (29%), a TV food expert (24%), and health, food and nutrition bloggers (24%). Farmer came in sixth at 23%, and food company or manufacturer was seventh at 11%.

The survey also found confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply slipping. Eleven per cent said they were “very confident” in the safety of the food supply, which was down from 12% in 2014 and 15% in 2013, and 50% said they were “somewhat confident”, which was down from 54% in 2014 and 55% in 2013.

When asked to give the most important food safety issue for their family, 36% said chemicals in food, which ranked first and ahead of foodborne illness from bacteria at 34%, pesticide residues at 9%, animal antibiotics at 7% and undeclared allergens at 3%. When asked the four most important benefits of processed foods, 16% mentioned improved food safety among their four benefits, which ranked eighth, behind convenience, food staying fresher longer, affordability, variety/choice, better taste, increased availability and improved health/nutrition.

Greenwald & Associates conducted the 2015 survey, which took place on-line from March 13-26 and covered 1,007 Americans of the ages 18 to 80. For more information, visit www.foodinsight.org.
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