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NPR Poll: Concern About Food Safety Ebbs

Fewer Americans are concerned about food safety now than they were a year ago, according to a survey done for National Public Radio.


In the poll by Thomson Reuters and NPR, 57 percent of the respondents said they were concerned about the safety of their food, compared with 61 percent in an identical survey conducted in 2010.

The telephone poll of 3,017 people, which has a margin of error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points, was conducted in July.

In other findings:

• 10.7 percent of respondents said they are not at all concerned with the safety of their food, up from 6.6 percent in 2010.

• 11.2 percent of those polled said they had become sick from something they ate in the last three months, up from 10.5 percent in 2010. Respondents 65 years or older became ill the least, with only 4.5 percent reporting a food-derived sickness in 2011.


• The severity of food illness increased from 2010. A year ago, 12.1 percent of respondents said they became seriously ill due to something they ate. That number climbed to 21.5 percent in 2011.

• Meat generated more concern than any other type of food:  44.1 percent of those polled said they had concerns over the safety of meat, followed by fresh produce (30.2 percent), seafood (20.1 percent), and dairy products (5.5 percent).

• Socio-economics appear to play a role in food safety concerns: 53 percent of respondents who earn less than $25,000 per year were very concerned with the safety of their food. That far outweighed the level of concern among respondents with higher income.

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