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Food Safety Gets Americans' Attention

Poll Shows More Americans Heed Food Safety Warnings Than in the Past
WebMD Health News

Dec. 15, 2006 -- Americans are increasingly paying attention to food warnings and nutritional recommendations, a new Gallup poll shows.

Gallup polled about 1,000 U.S. adults by telephone from Dec. 8-10.

Food safety has been in the headlines a lot this year, with E. coli outbreaks in fresh spinach and in Taco Bell restaurants.

The poll didn't specifically cover those topics. Instead, the poll included general questions about food safety, food warnings, and nutritional recommendations.

According to the poll, most American adults are confident in U.S. food safety and trust the U.S. government to keep their food safe.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they pay more attention to food warnings and nutritional recommendations than they did five years ago.

Poll Results

One of the poll questions was, "How much attention do you pay to the food warnings and nutritional recommendations you hear or read about?"

Seventy-one percent of participants said they pay "a lot" or "a fair amount" of attention to food warnings and recommendations. Only 4% said they pay no attention at all.

Another question asked participants if they paid more, less, or about the same amount of attention to food warnings and nutritional recommendations as five years ago.

Almost two out of three (64%) said they pay more attention now than five years ago.

An additional 28% said they paid about the same amount of attention, while 8% said they paid less attention than they did five years ago.

The poll doesn't show when or why most participants started paying more attention to food safety and nutritional recommendations.

Confident in the U.S. Food Supply

The vast majority -- 87% -- said they were confident that the food available at most grocery stores is safe to eat.

A smaller majority -- 74% -- were as confident about food served at most restaurants.

Those polled also rated their confidence level in the federal government to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply.

Twenty-two percent said they had "a great deal" of confidence, 60% expressed a "fair" amount of confidence, 15% voiced "not much" confidence, and 3% said they had no confidence at all in the federal government's food safety control.

The poll has a margin of error of +/-3%.

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