Food recalls leave bad taste in Americans' mouths

by Stephanie Bloyd
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NEW YORK — A survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP found that 57% of Americans said they’ve stopped eating certain foods, either temporarily or permanently, because of recent recalls. And 73% said they felt recalls have increased over the past year, while 76% of those surveyed expressed more concern about the types of food they eat now than they did five years ago.

"These findings underscore how urgent it is for food manufacturers to do all they can to address the problem of food recalls head-on," said Pat Conroy, vice-chairman and U.S. consumer products leader for Deloitte LLP. "Over half of consumers say they may drop your product if they believe you are not doing what it takes to protect them and their families."

Consumers were most concerned about meat and dairy recalls, the survey found. Some 78% of participants said they were most concerned with beef recalls and 53% said they were concerned about dairy recalls. While 67% of those surveyed said they were worried about chicken recalls, and 53% expressed concern with fresh produce recalls.

In fact, 89% of the survey participants said they would prefer stores sell locally produced fruits and vegetables.

"In today’s environment, consumers are seeking fresher ingredients, giving locally grown food providers an important advantage they haven’t really had in the past," Mr. Conroy said.

Additionally, 56% of the Americans surveyed had reservations about foods produced outside the United States, saying they thought imported foods were "not at all" or only "somewhat" safe.

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