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NEWARK, Del. -- New research from the Produce Marketing Association here shows that primary shoppers are confident of the safety of fresh precut fruits and vegetables.
A solid majority say their precut produce purchases have either increased (38 percent) or stayed the same (46 percent) over last year, while many (29 percent) say they intend to buy more of it in the future.
When asked to rate the safety of bagged salads, 60 percent of respondents gave it a rating of "4" or "5" on a five-point scale, with "5" representing "very safe" and "1" representing "not safe at all." Of those who purchased precut produce, over two-thirds (68 percent) said they wash it, while 30 percent said they don't. When asked to describe safety concerns, about one-fourth (26 percent) said their chief concerns are pesticides, chemicals, and preservatives.
"The entire fresh produce industry takes very seriously its role in providing consumers with safe and nutritious fruits and vegetables," said PMA president Bryan Silbermann. "With consumer demand for fresh precut fruits and vegetables growing by leaps and bounds, this sector of our industry attracts increased attention from government and the media. This is another reason why it is important that PMA find out directly what consumers think about the produce they buy and feed to their families."
Forty-seven percent of 1,000 primary household shoppers have purchased fresh precut fruits and vegetables at least 20 times over the past year, and 34 percent have done so at least 40 times over the past year.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the consumer telephone survey of 1,000 primary shoppers in households nationwide. The results are statistically valid within a +/- 3 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence interval. This survey is one of the nationwide consumer research surveys PMA conducts monthly.