In a recent survey, researchers at the Nova Scotia-based institution found that few of the respondents could accurately remember some recent food recalls, while many underestimated the number of recalls that had been issued.
Equally worrying, only about 18 per cent felt consumers were among the groups most responsible for food safety — even though up to 80 per cent of contamination happens due to improper handling and preparation in consumers’ own kitchens, according to the professor who led the survey.
More than 83 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that “food contamination primarily occurs before food reaches my home.”
“It’s actually quite troubling,” said Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie.
“(It) means that most consumers don’t feel responsible, while the majority of food-borne illnesses are due to cross-contamination at home.”