Food safety is everyone’s responsibility.
And according to a recent telephone survey by the not-for-profit health and safety group NSF International, many American consumers could benefit from some additional education on the subject.
Here are a few key findings from the survey, which was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents:
- In general, people are doing either too much or too little when it comes to safe food handling and preparation. For example, 78% of respondents knew the right way to safely defrost meat and poultry, while only 20% bother to use a meat thermometer to verify adequate cooking temperatures.
- A full 90% of consumers wash their hands after handling raw meat or poultry, but roughly 20% aren’t using soap and warm water – the most effective combination – to do so.
- Few respondents (31%) are aware that they can safely refreeze foods that were thawed in the refrigerator.
- Over half (60%) of consumers surveyed consistently re-wash pre-packaged fruits and vegetables – even produce that is in a sealed container and labeled as prewashed.
- Food safety habits vary significantly among income levels, education levels and age groups.
Why? According to Cheryl Luptowski, Home Safety Expert for NSF International, “Many of the food safety practices we learn at home when we’re young are carried with us through life and passed to the next generation.” Luptowski further states, “Learning, understanding and changing food safety behavior through simple everyday practices will make a substantial difference in reducing the incidence of foodborne illness in America.”
Want to learn more?
Follow this link for more food safety survey results, as well as NSF International’s recommendations for basic food safety practices.
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