Misperceptions noted in food safety survey

April 24, 2006

U.S. researchers say Americans are confident about their ability to keep the food they eat safe -- but they don't trust their neighbors.

Michigan State University pollsters released the results of a survey Monday conducted by the university's Food Safety Policy Center that shows only 10 percent of Americans say they suffered food poisoning during the past year -- yet statistics say a quarter of Americans suffer food-borne illnesses each year.

Ninety-six percent of the survey's participants said they trust themselves to ensure foods they eat are safe. But when asked if they trust others to handle their food, the confidence rate dropped to 62 percent.

Sixty-three percent of Americans say they are very or fairly concerned about the safety of the food they eat. Fifty-four percent say they think about food safety while grocery shopping and 46 percent say they consider it while eating at a restaurant.

The telephone survey involved 1,014 adults in the United States between Oct. 31 and Feb. 9. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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