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Many U.S. consumers don't check their homes for products that have been recalled and linked to food contamination, despite the amount of media attention paid to recent high-profile food recalls that have been tied to a salmonella health scare.
The study by the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University was conducted via phone interviews with 1,101 consumers in 2008. While most consumers in the survey reported paying a "great deal of attention" to food recalls, "40 percent of these consumers think the foods they purchase are less likely to be recalled than those purchased by others, appearing to believe that food recalls just don't apply to them," according to a Press Release from Rutgers University.
Food safety has become a key concern of public health officials and lawmakers in recent weeks. A food safety report released last week by CDC shows little progress in fighting foodborne illness cases in recent years, and in the last few months consumers have been deluged with announcements of the recalls of hundreds of peanut butter products and food items containing pistachio nuts, over links to salmonella contamination.
According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 76 million people get sick from food each year, with 325,000 of those requiring hospitalization for their illness, and 5,000 people each year dying from food poisoning, Reuters reports.