The FDA just released data from its latest Food Safety Survey, revealing consumers’ attitudes toward handwashing, raw foods, and other food safety topics.

Key Findings:

  • More than half of consumers think they’re more likely to get food poisoning from foods in restaurants than from foods prepared at home.
  • Consumers are more likely to wash hands with soap after touching raw meat (85%) or raw fish (85%), than before preparing food (75% use soap all the time), or after cracking raw eggs (43%).
  • 67% of respondents reported owning a food thermometer. Almost 4 in 10 always use a food thermometer for roasts, while fewer than 1 in 5 use one for chicken, hamburgers, and eggs.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers do not eat raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs. Also, 95% do not drink raw milk.
  • 84% of respondents are aware of mercury in some fish, with tuna being the most well-known carrier of mercury.
  • Most consumers wash cutting boards after cutting raw meat. 90% either wash or use different cutting boards between cutting raw meat/chicken/fish and cutting other foods.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents do not have a refrigerator with a built-in thermometer. Furthermore, 84% of those consumers have not added one to their refrigerator to tell the temperature.
  • 48% of consumers use devices such as smartphones or tablets while preparing food. Additionally, 35% of those consumers wash their hands with soap after touching the device while preparing food.

The goal of the survey is to help the FDA and USDA make informed regulatory, education, and other decisions. Full survey results can be found here.



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