Tag Archives: awareness

How Much Do Consumers Really Know about Food Safety?

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Consumers think they’re more likely to get a foodborne illness from food they consume at a restaurant versus food they prepare at home, and they’re also more worried about contamination of raw chicken or beef than contaminated raw vegetables.  These and other findings were part of an annual survey, conducted by FDA in partnership with FSIS and USDA, to assess and track consumers’ understanding of food safety handling techniques, along with their feelings and behaviors surrounding food safety. The findings can help the FDA determine its education efforts to help improve consumer food safety behaviors.

Nearly 4200 Americans participated in the survey between October 6, 2015 and January 17, 2016. The questions measured food safety behaviors such as handwashing and washing cutting boards; preparing and consuming risk foods; and food thermometer use. Highlighted findings among respondents include:

  • Rates of consumers owning food thermometers remains constant, but usage has increased for roasts, chicken parts and hamburgers over the past 10 years.
  • Handwashing rates remain constant or decreased between 2010 and 2016.
  • New finding: Only 35% of consumers wash their hands after touching handheld phones or tablets while preparing food.
  • 67% wash raw chicken parts before cooking; 68% wash whole chicken or turkeys before cooking. “This practice is not recommended by food safety experts since washing will not destroy pathogens and may increase the risk of contaminating other foods and surfaces,” according to FDA.
  • 65% of respondents had not heard of mechanically tenderized beef (Labeling required as of May 2016).

A full copy of the 49-page 2016 FDA Food Safety Survey is available on the agency’s website.

Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness
Food Safety Culture Club

Time to Reflect and Honor Food Safety Heroes

By Deirdre Schlunegger
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Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness
Robert Tauxe, CDC
CDC’s Robert Tauxe will be honored by STOP Foodborne Illness at a fundraiser during the 2016 Food Safety Consortium.

STOP Foodborne Illness is honored again this year to be given the opportunity by Food Safety Tech to hold a fundraising event at the Food Safety Consortium on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. in Schaumburg, Illinois (Chicago area). We are honoring Robert Tauxe, M.D., MPH, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases with the Advancing Science for Food Safety Award; Scott Horsfall, representing The California Leafy Green Marketing Association with the Food Safety Training Award; and Jeff Almer, whose mother died from foodborne illness for the Food Safety Hero award. We will have a silent auction, music and food. This is a time to pause and thank those who have positively influenced our food safety system and we hope you will join us.

STOP Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens.

  • Advocating for sound public policy
  • Building public awareness
  • Assisting those impacted by foodborne illness
Scott Horsfall Dan Sutton Jeff Almer
Scott Horsfall Dan Sutton Jeff Almer

Last year’s Food Safety Heroes were Nancy Donley, former spokesperson for Safe Tables Our Priority and STOP Foodborne Illness and Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart.

FDA’s Michael Taylor Joins in Honoring Food Safety Heroes