More than a third of people believe government agencies and food processing corporations are doing a ‘poor’ job of protecting food safety, according to a Florida-based study.
37% felt government agencies were doing a poor job protecting food safety followed by food processing corporations (36%).
35% said that farmers were doing a good job but only 18% indicated government agencies were doing a good job, found the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE Center) study.
The online survey used non-probability sampling of Florida residents and received 510 responses from October with the end data being weighted to balance geographic, age, gender, and race/ethnicity data with the Florida population.
Food safety importance
Food safety ranked third in importance (85%) on a list of 15 concerns, according to the survey .
The economy came first and health care was second, food production practices ranked ninth and genetically modified food came in 14th.
Eggs and milk were identified by respondents as the safest animal products, followed by whole cuts of meat (steak, pork chops, chicken), and ground products (ground beef, sausage).
The majority of responses agreed or strongly agreed that fruits and vegetables were safe.
Respondents were worried about the safety of pesticide and antibiotic residues in food and slightly more were concerned with the safety of pesticide residues.
Steak was perceived as the safest beef or pork product, with 55% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing steak was safe.
The ground products, sausage and ground beef, had the lowest level of agreement with 47% agreeing or strongly agreeing that both products were safe.
Milk and eggs were said to be safe by 65% and 66% agreeing or strongly agreeing but chicken was only perceived to be safe by 51%.
The majority of respondents said they always wash their hands before preparing food (77%), wash fruits and vegetables before eating (73%), and wash hands before eating (64%).
64% never or rarely consumed food after the expiration date.
83% were not at all familiar or only slightly familiar with the Food Safety Modernization Act, 80% with the Farm Bill, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (71%), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (59%).