Few U.S. Consumers Use Basic Food Safety Practices

A large majority of American consumers are confident they are preparing their foods safely at home, but fewer than half reported in the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2008 Food & Health Survey that they follow basic safety practices such as using a different cutting board for each food type or using a food thermometer.

The 2008 survey was the third in the foundation’s series.

IFIC published a 2008 Comparative Report analyzing data across the three surveys to show trends among consumers. In 2008, 82 percent of consumers expressed confidence they cook safely at home and 96 percent said they routinely take at least one food safety precaution when cooking, preparing, and eating foods. But only 48 percent said they use different cutting boards, and 29 percent use a food thermometer. Eighty-seven percent said they are aware of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid food guidance system.

The 2008 Web-based survey of a representative sample of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older was conducted Feb. 21, 2008, to March, 2008, by Cogent Research of Cambridge, Mass., in partnership with the IFIC Foundation.

This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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