NEW YORK — According to Deloitte’s 2010 Consumer Food Safety Survey, while 90% of consumers felt that food-related recalls are on the rise or on par compared with findings from Deloitte’s 2008 Consumer Food Safety Survey, fewer people seem to be anxious about them.
The number of consumers concerned about the quality of food they eat decreased 17% from 2008 to 65% in 2010, the results showed.
Three-quarters of those surveyed felt that the manufacturers/food companies are responsible for communicating product recall information, followed closely by government organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration at 73%, while expectations from retailers and the media were lower at 53% and 51%, respectively.
“The decline in consumers’ concern for quality from our 2008 survey is due, in part, by their need to become more aware and engaged in choosing the products they buy,” said Pat Conroy, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. consumer products practice leader. “Consumers view food safety and quality as important issues, and are looking to manufacturers, food companies and government regulatory bodies to drive communication, as well as tackle food quality and safety issues.”
Half of those surveyed said the new country-of-origin labels help in determining which fresh meat, fish, fruit or vegetables to purchase, and 45% said they would like to find out the country of origin on a website for all ingredients in a packaged/bottled food product. This may become of increasing importance to consumers, since the survey found that more than half (53%) of consumers frequently or always read the list of ingredients on an unfamiliar packaged or bottled food item, up from 50% in 2008.
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