Americans’ food safety practices in doubt

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, May 15, 2008

About 82% of Americans surveyed by the IFIC Foundation said they are confident in their ability to safely prepare food.

However, the report of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation unveiled that many do not follow simple procedures to reduce the spread of bacteria in their kitchen or ensure safe cooking temperatures.

In particular, 48% said they use separate cutting boards for the preparation of raw meat or poultry and produce, and only 29% said they use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperatures.

These findings are part of an extensive look at what Americans are doing regarding their eating and health habits in the third annual Food & Health Survey. The survey of 1,000 American adults was conducted over a two and a half-week period in February and March of 2008.

The contradiction or “disconnect” between consumers’ beliefs and their own behavior toward safe food preparation is among seven overall “diet disconnects” identified in the survey over the past two years.

92% of respondents said they wash their hands with soap and water when preparing food and 79% said they store leftovers within two hours of serving. However, 15% check the wattage on their microwaves, and only 7% said they use a meat thermometer when cooking meat or poultry in the microwave.

Nearly 80% of Americans agree that consuming specific foods and beverages can provide certain health and wellness benefits beyond basic nutrition. But, 50% or more of Americans say they currently do not consume foods or beverages that deliver these benefits, although most are interested in doing so.

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