U.S. consumers appear to be less worried about food safety in general but more concerned about fruit and vegetable safety in particular.
A new poll from NPR and Thomson Reuters shows that 57% of consumers say they are concerned or very concerned about food safety, down from 61% who responded that way in the summer of 2010.
Fresh produce on the other hand, showed an elevated level of concern among consumers. The poll showed that 30% of consumers say fruits and vegetables pose the greatest risk, compared with 23% with that view last year.
Meat leads the list of foods that people worry about most, the poll showed. Of those polled, 44% said meat is the food that posses the greatest risk, which NPR said was down 7% from a year ago.
The poll, conducted the first two weeks of July and reflecting the answers of more than 3,000 consumers, indicated that 11% of those polled say they were sickened by something they ate in the previous three months, similar to last year.
However, a greater percentage — 22% this year versus 12% in 2010 — said the illness was fairly serious, according to an NPR report of the poll.
The survey showed higher-income consumers were less concerned about food safety than those with a lower incomes.
The poll found that 53% of those making less than $25,000 per year said they were very concerned about food safety, compared with just 39% for those making $100,000 a year.