NEW YORK, June 9 Food safety fears have moved to the frontof the checkout line as well over half of Americans (57 percent) say they haveactually stopped eating a particular food, temporarily or permanently, as aresult of a recent recall.
Additionally, close to three-fourths of Americans (73 percent) say theybelieve the number of food-related recalls has increased in the past year. Aneven higher percentage (76 percent) of consumers is more concerned about thefoods they eat than they were five years ago.
Concerns are especially high around recalls of meat products.Specifically, consumers say they are most concerned by beef recalls(78 percent) followed by chicken recalls (67 percent), recalls of fresh fruitand vegetables (53 percent), and recalls of dairy products (53 percent).
"These findings underscore how urgent it is for food manufacturers to doall they can to address the problem of food recalls head-on," said Pat Conroy,Deloitte LLP's vice chairman and US consumer products practice leader. "Overhalf of consumers say they may drop your product if they believe you are notdoing what it takes to protect them and their families."
Additionally, Americans express great reservations about foods producedoutside the United States, with more than half (56 percent) saying they thinkimported foods are "not at all" or only "somewhat" safe. In contrast, 80percent of Americans say they believe domestically produced foods are safe.Fully one third (33 percent) say they think fresh fish is "not at all" or"somewhat" safe.
Indeed, the survey found that 89 percent would like to see food storessell more fruits and vegetables that come from local farms. "In today'senvironment, consumers are seeking fresher ingredients, giving locally grownfood providers an important advantage they haven't really had in the past,"said Conroy.
About the Survey
The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted by an independentresearch company on April 21, 2008. The survey polled a nationallyrepresentative sample of 1,110 consumers.
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, asubsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for adetailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and itssubsidiaries.