FDA Releases 2019 Food Safety and Nutrition Survey Results
On March 16, the FDA released the results of its 2019 Food Safety and Nutrition Survey Report (FSANS) which assessed consumers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding, and reported behaviors relating to a variety of food safety and nutrition related topics. The results are intended to help the FDA make better informed regulatory, policy, education, and other risk-management decisions in order to promote and protect the public health.
The FSANS combines the Food Safety Survey (last conducted in 2016) and the Health and Diet Survey (last conducted in 2014). The survey was sent by mail to respondents who could submit online or by mail. Approximately 4,400 responses were collected between October and November 2019.
In their press release, the FDA highlighted the following key findings:
- 87% of respondents have looked at the Nutrition Facts Panel on food packages and mainly look for calories, total sugar, sodium, and serving size.
- 70% of respondents have seen menu labeling at restaurants. Of those, 53% reported using the calorie information when making food order decisions.
- Over 80% of respondents have seen claims such as “no sugar added,” “whole grain,” “organic,” “gluten free,” “low fat,” “no artificial ingredients,” “low sugar,” and “no artificial colors.”
- About 76% of consumers are likely to wash hands with soap after touching raw meat, whereas only 68% would wash hands before preparing food, and only 39% after cracking raw eggs.
- 62% of respondents own a food thermometer. Usage among those who own food thermometers and cook the food ranges from 85% for whole chickens, 79% for beef, lamb, or pork roasts, to 40% for chicken parts, 36% for burgers, 23% for egg dishes, and 20% for frozen meals.