Despite numerous food safety messages, the rate of foodborne illness in the United States in on an alarming rise. The CDC estimates that about 50,000 Americans become ill each year from pathogens in the foods they eat. Further, almost 400,000 are hospitalized with 3,000 passing from the illness.
The new study involved testing the perceptions of consumers and their reactions to the numerous food safety messages being used by the government, the food industry and food educators.
The result was that consumers found food that was irradiated or genetically altered to be considered less safe. Foods that were local grown or harvested were considered more safe. So a boon to the local farmers’ market.
Natural and organic foods fared well in consumer perceptions as being safe, so long as proper food handling procedures were followed.
Surprisingly the study also revealed that consumers feel that they are immune to foodborne illnesses, thinking that they are less likely to become susceptible to illness than others.
For those companies and brands that tout the safety of their products, like B&W Watercress, for example, consumers are willing to spend an extra 12% on those food products.
The least trusted were the ethnic foods. Consumers felt that imported foods have the potential of being less safe than foods prepared in the US.
With this new insight, food marketers who work with imported brands should add phrases to their packaging or their websites to assuage this concern.
Read More: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science-Nutrition/Study-sheds-light-on-consumer-food-safety-behaviors