A poll conducted by Ipsos/McClatchy shows that eight in ten of the participants (79 per cent) report that most food safety concerns are related to imported food, while two in ten (21 per cent) think most concerns are related to domestically produced food.
The poll comes in the wake of a number of high profile food recalls and scares in the US related to fresh produce as well as beef, and it also follows the recent melamine scare linked to Chinese milk products.
The market research company said the survey was conducted online from 14 to 16 October, using a national sample of 1,011 adults.
According to Ipsos, weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the US adult population according to Census data.
The survey indicates mixed feelings regarding food safety efforts in the US and claims food processors have the most responsibility in respect to food safety.
Asked to rate food safety according to ‘school grades’ (A, B, C, D, or F), only one in ten of the consumers (11 per cent) gave food safety a grade of ‘A’, with nearly half of those surveyed (46 per cent) giving food safety a fair, poor or failing grade (34% ‘C’, 9% ‘D’, 3% ‘F’), claims the poll.
The report reveals that, in terms of the level of food safety controls now in place compared to six months ago, a majority (57 per cent) think the situation is about the same but a significant number (28 per cent) feel food safety has got worse, while 15 per cent report that it has improved.
No consensus exists around a particular food as the single-most concerning regarding food safety.
One quarter of those surveyed is most concerned about the safety of fish and seafood, roughly the same percentage as those that are most concerned with beef (23 per cent), claims the poll.
The market researchers found that the other significant food items of concern include vegetables (20 per cent) and chicken (18 per cent).