Retailers, consumers and prices
Food safety officials in the United States are still searching for the cause of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 167 people in 17 states and is believed to be linked to raw round, plum and Roma tomatoes.
If you want to see whether your state has reported a case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a site that shows the state-by-state breakdown.
Restaurants and grocery stores have dropped tomatoes like hot potatoes, and many consumers are avoiding them until they get an all-clear from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Many people don’t know that the FDA has published a list of states and countries whose tomatoes are not linked to the outbreak.
Shoppers loading up their carts may be becoming more wary of the food they pick up from the shelves, according to a food safety survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP.
The survey, which polled 1,110 consumers across America on April 21, found that 57 percent of people stopped eating a type of food either permanently or temporarily because of a food recall.
The poll also found a sharp contrast in consumer perceptions of imported food versus domestic food, with 56 percent reporting that they think imported food is “not at all” or “somewhat” safe. Eighty percent said they think food produced domestically is safe.
Meat recalls ranked as a top food safety concern. Seventy-eight percent of consumers were concerned about beef recalls, while 67 percent were worried about chicken recalls.
Dairy recalls and fresh fruit/vegetable recalls followed at 53 percent each.
The results were released as restaurants and retailers began to pull certain types of tomatoes from their menus and shelves after a salmonella scare that has resulted in 145 reported cases and 23 hospitalizations, the U.S. Food and Drug administration said as of Saturday. The largest recall ever of meat in the U.S. occurred in February, mainly involving beef products.
Survey respondents also overwhelmingly (89 percent) said they want to see stores sell more fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms, and 69 percent said they were willing to pay slightly more as a result.
Full survey results can be found here.