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Despite a rise in overall concern about food safety in recent months, consumers are confident in the safety of ground beef, steaks and roasts, according to a national survey funded by The Beef Checkoff, which found more than eight in 10 of survey respondents in agreement that the beef industry is working to ensure safe and wholesome food.
More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they believe the number of food recalls and foodborne illnesses is on the rise, especially on the heels of recall news related to peanut products. Just 49 percent of consumers answered in the same way in November 2008.
"This survey confirms food safety is on consumers' minds, and we want them to know it's on our mind as well," said James O. Reagan, Ph.D., chairman of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) and SVP of research, education and innovation for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Centennial, Colo.
When asked specifically about the beef industry's efforts to improve beef safety, 81 percent of survey participants agreed that the entire beef industry -- from farmers and ranchers to processors and retailers -- is working together to provide consumers with safe, wholesome food. The national survey of 1,023 Americans, which had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent, further found 78 percent of consumers agreeing that safeguards developed by beef industry scientists have made ground beef safer than ever.