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Although the majority of Americans believe the foods in supermarkets are safe, the percentage that feels this way has decreased over the last five years, according to new research from The NPD Group, a leading market research company.
The latest NPD Food Safety Monitor, which has tracked food safety concerns and eating intentions in the United States every other week since 2001, found that in 2007 and 2008, 63 percent agreed with the statement that foods sold in supermarkets are safe, vs. 68 percent who agreed with the statement in 2004.
“I believe consumers’ slipping confidence in the safety of supermarket food is less about food safety and more about supermarkets expanding foodservice operations and offering more prepared, ready-to-eat foods,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and VP at Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD. “More food-handling issues and concerns come into play when foods are prepared for you. Consumers are now extending the concerns they have about the safety of foods served at restaurants to supermarkets.”
According to the NPD Food Safety Monitor, the percentage of consumers who feel foods served at restaurants are safe has remained between 48 and 49 percent since 2004.
Salmonella, e. Coli, trans-fatty acids, mercury in fish/seafood, mad cow, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial growth hormones in milk, genetically modified foods, foot and mouth disease, and meat/milk from cloned animals rank among Americans’ top food safety concerns, according to the most recent NPD Food Safety Monitor.