Safety: Majority in U.S. feel food
industry doesn’t do enough
of Article: http://www.reliableplant.com/Article.aspx?articleid=16683
On the heels
of the largest product recall in U.S. history, an American Society for
Quality survey reveals that although the majority of the food industry may be
following safe production procedures, the majority of the public doesn’t feel
it does enough. Food safety is still igniting widespread concern according to
the survey of U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ASQ.
the survey to gauge how consumers feel about food safety, food recalls and
where responsibility lies when it comes to tainted food. The survey finds:
- 93 percent of adults say food
manufacturers, growers or suppliers should be held legally responsible
when individuals are fatally sickened by tainted food.
- 61 percent of U.S. adults feel
the U.S. food recall process is only fair or poor.
- 73 percent of adults say they
are as equally concerned about food safety as the war on terror.
- 82 percent of adults believe
that the food industry should be required to follow international
standards on food safety.
States overall does have a safe food supply,” said Steven Wilson, member of
ASQ’s board of directors and ASQ food safety expert. “However, whether food
manufacturers have process controls in place or not, some have plant
sanitation issues that they need to address.”
there are also other issues to consider. “The problem lies with a specific
outbreak. Determining its root cause is often difficult and necessary,
otherwise correcting the root cause and preventing future outbreaks can’t be
Role in Food Safety
Eighty percent of adults believes that the federal government should select
the agencies that inspect the facilities of food manufacturers.
Interestingly, less than half (48 percent) said that they actually trust the
government’s ability to ensure the safety of food products. Also, only half
believe the federal government does a good job enforcing laws that ensure our
nation’s food supply is safe.
Over Product Recalls Remains High
Ninety-three percent of adults are aware of instances of food recalls due to
health and safety concerns in the last three years. This is up from a 2007
Harris Poll showing 79 percent were aware of food recall occurrences in the
last three years.
- Food recalls have become even
more of a serious concern for adults (47 percent) vs. the 2007 Harris
Poll data (29 percent). A total of 92 percent of Americans are at least
somewhat concerned about recalls.
- When recalls on brands adults
usually purchase do occur, 47 percent would temporarily purchase another
brand and then purchase the recalled brand once it was safe. This is
down from 55 percent in 2007.
- Twenty-seven percent of adults
would avoid using any brand made by the manufacturer of a recalled
product. This is up from 21 percent in 2007.
says “The cost of a recall does not just concern lost revenue and charges for
the recall but also in loss of respect for the brand or the product. In this
way, all members of the food chain are hurt by the actions of bad players. A
majority of recalls can be prevented with due diligence by all parties, including
following their implemented control systems and communicating with the other
segments of the food chain.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive on behalf of ASQ from February 25-27, 2009, among 2,078 adults
ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample
and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, contact Lynda
Nicely at 414-298-8789 x7587.
ASQ, www.asq.org, has been the world’s
leading authority on quality for more than 60 years. With more than 90,000
individual and organizational members, the professional association advances
learning, quality improvement and knowledge exchange to improve business
results and to create better workplaces and communities worldwide. As a
champion of the quality movement, ASQ offers technologies, concepts, tools
and training to quality professionals, quality practitioners and everyday
consumers, encouraging all to Make Good Great. ASQ has been the sole
administrator of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
since 1991. Headquartered in Milwaukee, ASQ is a founding partner of the
American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic
indicator, and also produces the Quarterly Quality Report.