Ninety percent of consumers think food recalls have risen or remained stable, according to a new survey commissioned by Deloitte. In 2008, 73 percent of respondents said there had been more recalls than the previous year.
Despite the perceived increase in recalls, 65 percent of respondents are concerned about food quality - down 17 percent from 2008 levels. Pat Conroy, Deloitte's vice chairman and U.S. consumer products practice leader, attributed the decline to an increasing consumer need for awareness and engagement in product choice.
"Consumers view food safety and quality as important issues and are looking to manufacturers, food companies and government regulatory bodies to drive communication, as well as tackle food quality and safety issues," he said.
Seventy-five percent of consumers said food manufacturers are responsible for recall communication, while 73 percent said that job fell to the government.
Consumers are also reading labels carefully. Slightly more than half said they use country-of-origin labels when choosing a fresh meat, fish or produce item, and more than half (53 percent) of consumers also said they frequently or always read the ingredient list for unfamiliar packaged foods - an increase from 50 percent in 2008.
Reprinted in part from meatingplace.com