Consumer fears about produce safety rise, poll suggests

09/15/2011 11:26:00 AM
Fred Wilkinson

Pamela RiemenscheiderU.S. consumers appear to be less worried about food safety in general but more concerned about fruit and vegetable safety in particular.

A new poll from NPR and Thomson Reuters shows that 57% of consumers say they are concerned or very concerned about food safety, down from 61% who responded that way in the summer of 2010.

Fresh produce on the other hand, showed an elevated level of concern among consumers. The poll showed that 30% of consumers say fruits and vegetables pose the greatest risk, compared with 23% with that view last year.

Meat leads the list of foods that people worry about most, the poll showed. Of those polled, 44% said meat is the food that posses the greatest risk, which NPR said was down 7% from a year ago.

The poll, conducted the first two weeks of July and reflecting the answers of more than 3,000 consumers, indicated that 11% of those polled say they were sickened by something they ate in the previous three months, similar to last year.

However, a greater percentage — 22% this year versus 12% in 2010 — said the illness was fairly serious, according to an NPR report of the poll.

The survey showed higher-income consumers were less concerned about food safety than those with a lower incomes.

The poll found that 53% of those making less than $25,000 per year said they were very concerned about food safety, compared with just 39% for those making $100,000 a year.

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New York  |  September, 15, 2011 at 05:17 PM

Thank you news media!

Charles Jordan    
Colorado  |  September, 15, 2011 at 06:10 PM

Some politicians seem to want to eliminate the EPA. If the public is concerned about food safety, then what do you think it will be with not EPA and other such agencies?

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