The continuous drum beat of multistate foodborne illness outbreaks has not done much to shake consumer confidence in the U.S. food supply, according to a new study released this week. The NPD Group, a market research firm,  reports that 60 percent of U.S. consumers are only somewhat or slightly concerned about the safety of the food supply. A quarter of people report being extremely or very concerned and 15 percent said they were not concerned at all. The survey, known as the NPD Group Food Safety Monitor, contacts 500 adults on a biweekly basis and asks about a variety of food safety issues, including Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, mad cow disease and mercury in fish. Responses to one simple question: “How concerned are you about the safety of the U.S. food supply?” have remained relatively the same since 2010, according to NPD. So why aren’t headlines about illnesses and deaths linked to cantaloupe, peanut butter, tuna, cheese and mangoes (just to name some of the outbreaks of the last six months) causing more worry? Well, the survey results show that these outbreaks do cause spikes in concern, usually regarding a specific food product, but then as the news subsides the concern levels off. The percentage of adults who reported being concerned about Listeria, for example, more than doubled during the deadly Colorado cantaloupe outbreak in late Summer 2011, but by the end of the year that worry leveled off. “The impact of a food recall on consumer attitudes and perceptions often depends on the amount of news coverage received, or the severity of the situation in terms of numbers sickened or dead as a result,” says Darren Seifer,  NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Recalls, unfortunately, have become more commonplace, but consumers are creatures of habit. It takes a lot for us to change what we eat.”