New Food Safety Survey Sheds Light on How Much it Matters to Consumers

thermometer in chickenConsumers are paying more and more attention to food safety. Federal regulators are also making the safety and reliability of our food system a higher priority. A recent survey from TrendSource, Inc., a San Diego-based data collection and analysis service, sought to figure out which perceptions diners have about food safety. The survey involved asking nearly 3,000 consumers who were at least 18 years old about a number of topics involving safety. The subjects included food handling, cleanliness, employee hygiene, and food-borne illnesses. The majority of the people who participated in the study were females with college educations, ages 31 to 60. The study focused primarily on fast-casual restaurants.

Approximately 65 percent of the people surveyed reported that they patronize a fast-casual restaurant a couple times each month and that they will visit on average four different restaurants during that timeframe. Over 80 percent of survey members prefer to see their food being prepared, believing that it gives them a better sense of whether it was prepared safely and helps them ensure its quality. An even higher percentage of participants stated that when the individuals preparing their food wear gloves, they believe their food is either safe or very safe to eat. Still, slightly more than half of the people surveyed indicated that they do not think employees at restaurants wash their hands after using a restroom, after taking a smoking break, or prior to handling food items.

When it comes to biases, almost half of participants said that they believe certain types of foods are more likely to be contaminated than others. Some of these biases were based on cultural cuisines, with Mexican food topping the list of cuisines most likely to cause illnesses.

Over 80 percent of survey participants said they feel comfortable reporting a problem if they see what they believe is an unsafe food handling practice, while 56 percent said they would refrain from patronizing a restaurant if someone they knew became sick after eating at the establishment. Over 60 percent of participants said that they would return to a restaurant that had a food-borne illness outbreak after waiting roughly one or two months, or until someone they knew ate at the restaurant without becoming sick.

Food-borne illnesses are serious conditions that can cause debilitating injuries and even death. If you have been sickened due to contaminated food, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the parties responsible for your harm, including the food producer, the processor, the distributor, or the restaurant involved with its preparation. Each party in the food supply chain owes the eventual consumer a duty to use reasonable care when harvesting, producing, processing, storing, handling, and preparing food. This standard of care encompasses any food safety and handling laws at the local, state, and federal levels.

At Moll Law Group, we understand the severity of food-borne illnesses and how difficult it can be to gather the evidence you need to support your claim. Serving consumers across the United States, including in Illinois, Florida, New York, and California, our knowledgeable food contamination attorneys provide a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to schedule your phone consultation.

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