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12/9/2013 - Consumers less certain about food safety


As cognizant and well informed many consumers may be about their nutrition, even clean labels don't guarantee they won't be affected by food poisoning.

Though health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are in place to help govern the content and quality of food being bought at stores and served in restaurants, it appears some people have lost confidence in the safety of what it is that they're eating, a recent poll suggests.

The survey, which questioned approximately 2,100 adults, revealed that only one in every six had a "great deal" of confidence that the food they eat on a regular basis is safe and free from potential strains of bacteria. When a similar poll was performed in 2008, approximately one in four expressed the same level of conviction about their forms of nourishment.

Performed by market research company Multi-sponsors Survey, the poll also pinpointed more specific concerns people had with their food. Their chief worries included food being exposed to dangerous pesticides, food-borne pathogens like e-coli and salmonella and whether growth hormones were used in beef products like steak.

By law, companies that mark their products with labels like "all-natural," "organic" and "free-range" are supposed to satisfy specific guidelines that qualify them as being free of potential harmful chemicals that may impact someone's health. Industry experts refer to these labels as "clean package claims." The survey found that among consumers, approximately 70% of adults had purchased at least one "clean" food or drink in the past 12 months.

As cognizant and well informed many consumers may be about their nutrition, even clean labels don't guarantee they won't be affected by food poisoning. According to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, about 40 million Americans are sickened by food-borne diseases each year, oftentimes due to poor handling of food. Businessowners insurance can provide food processors and restaurateurs the protection needed to help them recover should the food they sold cause consumers to become ill.


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