( Courtesy Lloyd's Register )

Fifty-six percent of U.S. shoppers are more concerned about food safety than they were a year ago, according to a survey from British consulting firm Lloyd’s Register.

According to a report on the survey, 46% of respondents said they have changed their food shopping or consumption habits in the last 12 months due to a food safety scare.

Lloyd’s Register conducted the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in November. Survey questions did not mention fresh produce or outbreaks tied to romaine lettuce but referenced food safety overall.

Media coverage of various incidents as a key factor.

“The extent to which this kind of coverage damages consumer confidence seems clear,” Lloyd’s Register wrote. “ ... Interestingly, just under half of men polled said they were more concerned, while over 60% of women said the same. Those polled in younger age groups also tended to express greater concern than older generations, who were more evenly split.”

The report suggested that the food industry figure out how to minimize the fallout from outbreaks and other food safety incidents.

“It is therefore within suppliers’ interests to alleviate concerns and question how to better manage food scares that are reported in the media,” Lloyd’s Register wrote.

The report delved into U.S. consumer attitudes toward food waste, plastic, meat alternatives and other topics.

Related stories:

Year in Produce No. 2 — Food Safety

Dr. Oz features industry input on romaine outbreak

Food safety forces change