Evaluation of Consumer Food Safety Behaviors at Home
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Foodborne pathogens are a major source of illness in the United States. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1 in 6 Americans are sickened by a foodborne illness each year. While many steps in the farm to table process are well researched and regulated, little information is known about the time between purchase and plate. This study evaluated current food safety recommendations made by the Partnership for Food Safety Education on FightBAC.org. An online survey of consumers was conducted to determine how often they perform the recommended practices to reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens at home. A total of 1,034 consumers responded to the survey. The majority of respondents indicate they practice good personal hygiene, take steps to reduce cross contamination, and store food properly. Safe handling and proper cooking of meat and poultry are areas where consumers are inconsistent and knowledge of recommended practices could be reinforced to decrease the risk of foodborne illness.