Surveys still suck: US and UK ask food safety questions but answers don’t predict behavior

Good money follows bad.

The top food safety concern among Americans is no longer “foodborne illness,” having been overtaken by “chemicals in food,” according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2015 Food and Health Survey.

larry-david-yawn-knicks-otHowever, when it comes to risks to consumers, foodborne illnesses are far and away the greater health concern.

This year, 36 percent of Americans cited “chemicals in food,” such as pesticide residues, as the most important food safety issue for them and their family, edging out “foodborne illness from bacteria” (34 percent). The increase in the number of people citing “chemicals in food” as their top concern is striking. Last year, only 23 percent of Americans chose that option.

116lzja.jpgThe UK Food Standards Agency in their biannual survey found the top two food safety issues of total (ie spontaneous plus prompted) concern for respondents were food hygiene when eating out (37%), and the use of additives in food products (29%).

The top wider food issues of total concern were the amount of sugar in food (51%), food waste (49%) and the amount of salt in food (47%).