Study reveals increased food safety awareness

The results of a Michigan State University survey recently revealed American attitudes on food safety. Telephone interviews were conducted with over 1,000 adults in the U.S., asking them their opinions and concerns about food safety and foodborne illness. This study is one of the most recent, which looks at consumer attitudes on foodborne illness. Below are some interesting highlights from the survey:

  • Only 10 percent of Americans reported that they got foodborne illness in the past year however, current published statistics indicate that over 25 percent of Americans suffer from foodborne illness.
  • Ninety-six percent of Americans feel they trust themselves to ensure the food they prepare at home is safe. However, when asked if they trust others to handle their food, their confidence rate dropped to 62 percent.
  • While 96 percent of the respondents trust themselves over others to prepare food safely, only 58 percent say they know a lot or quite a bit about food safety.
  • Sixty-three percent of Americans say they are very or fairly concerned about the safety of the food they eat.
  • Fifty-four percent reported that they “think” about food safety when grocery shopping, while 46 percent “think” about food safety when eating out at a restaurant.
  • Many respondents stated that they are willing to pay more for less. That is, 84 percent of those surveyed, would add $270 a year to their food bill (5 percent more) if foodborne disease could be reduced by 50 percent.
  • The federal government-specifically the FDA and USDA-was the most identified group expected to keep food safe and 88 percent believe they are capable of keeping food safe. Unfortunately only 49 percent believe the government has the resources to do the job properly.

Michigan State University
Food Safety Policy Center,
April 2006

Categories: Training & Education