Consumers and Food Safety in the U.S.: Implications for Marketers, Retailers and Foodservice

Dec 23, 2015
98 Pages - Pub ID: LA5641956
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Consumers and Food Safety in the U.S.:
Implications for Marketers, Retailers and Foodservice


Foodborne illness is a serious public health issue. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year, one out of every six Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Despite experts’ assertions that the nation’s food supply is safer than ever, new challenges to food safety have arisen in recent years, including more imported foods and more products being shipped longer distances, environmental changes leading to food contamination, and emerging strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Added to this is the veritable rabbit warren of Federal agencies overseeing food safety in the U.S., and the FDA’s new policy of using criminal sanctions to help ensure compliance under the Food Safety Modernization Act. At the same time, media reports of food poisonings seem to appear every week, with the trials and tribulations of two prominent U.S. food companies—ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell Creameries LP and fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.—continuing to make headlines. The spill-over impact on consumer perceptions is profound: Nearly half (46%) of U.S. consumers say their level of concern over food safety has increased in the past few years, according to Packaged Facts’ November-December 2015 National Consumer Survey.

Packaged Facts’ Consumers and Food Safety in the U.S.: Implications for Marketers, Retailers and Foodservice report examines the forces impacting consumer perceptions of food safety, as well as the ways marketers, retailers and foodservice companies are responding to these concerns. This all-new report uses numerous case histories to illustrate how a wide array of food industry players have handled food safety issues as the problems developed and examines the aftermath, from food manufacturers such as the now-making-a-strong-comeback Blue Bell to restaurants including the still-under-fire Chipotle. Also discussed are historical cases that have shaped how both consumers and the food and beverage industry respond to food safety concerns.

An Overview chapter provides a breakdown of the Federal agencies involved in food safety, a discussion of the impact of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, a listing of the most common pathogens responsible for foodborne illnesses, and a perspective on food allergens. A Consumer chapter provides data from Packaged Facts’ proprietary national consumer surveys detailing consumer perspectives on food safety issues together with further context derived from reports and surveys from other organizations. A Case Histories chapter utilizes current and historical instances of food safety issues to shine a light on how a company’s handling of such crises can result in fallout ranging from promising to catastrophic.

Scope and Methodology

The report covers both current events that are unfolding, impacting the food safety landscape today, and past issues that have helped shape current policy and consumer perspective. The analysis concentrates largely on two major topics: The Federal government’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which will begin taking effect in September 2016; and contamination of foods with pathogens/outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, which have been making headline news since early 2015. Among other food safety issues are allergens; mislabeled products; illegal chemical residues; toxins naturally present in foods; and bioterrorism and food defense.

Consumers and Food Safety in the U.S. draws on a proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey conducted in November-December 2015 with a sample size of 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+. The sample composition is representative of the national population by gender, age bracket, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income bracket, and presence of children in the household. In addition, the report draws on data from U.S. government agencies (such as the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture); industry publications, websites and blogs; literature from individual food and beverage marketers, retailers and foodservice companies; and other Packaged Facts reports.

Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Overview: Scope of Report
Report Methodology
Multiple Federal Agencies Oversee Food Safety
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): From Reactive to
Proactive
Criminal Prosecutions for Food Safety Breaches
Three Pathogens Cause Vast Majority of Multistate Outbreaks
More than Half of Foodservice Workers Go to Work When Sick
Food Allergies Are Another Food Safety Issue
The Consumer
Concern About Food Safety Has Grown for 46% of Consumers
Figure 1-1: Response to the Question: “In the past few years, has your level of concern about food safety increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Manufacturers Held Most Responsible for Food Safety
Consumers Worry About Many Food Safety Issues
Food Allergies/Intolerances Affect Choices of One Out of Four Consumers
GMO Avoidance Rate Jumps 25% in Two Years
“Chemicals in Food” Is Consumers’ Top Food Safety Concern
Case Histories: Marketers, Retailers, and Foodservice
Case Histories Illustrate Different Approaches to Food Safety Problems
Blue Bell Post-Crisis
Chipotle: Fallout from the Outbreaks
General Mills Recalls Gluten-Free Cheerios for Undeclared Gluten
Peanut Corporation of America Execs Get Severe Jail Sentences for Knowingly Shipping Tainted Peanut Butter
Walmart Ahead of the Curve with Strict Standards and Protocols
Chapter 2: Overview
Key Points
Food Safety Issues Covered in This Report
Report Methodology
The Vast Scope of Foodborne Illnesses
Multiple Federal Agencies Oversee Food Safety
Proposals for a Single Federal Regulatory Agency
State and Local Agencies
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): From Reactive to Proactive
New Food Safety Rules
What the New Rules Mean to the Food Industry
Sufficient Funding Is a Major Hurdle
Criminal Prosecutions for Food Safety Breaches
Why Food Safety Is So Difficult to Control
Technology Brings Hope for the Future
Whole Genome Sequencing Changing Food Safety Science
Reporting Foodborne Illnesses
The Reportable Food Registry
FoodNet: A Collaborative Program Among Agencies
CDC Receives Additional Information from State and Local Health Departments
Using Social Media
Pathogens (Bacteria and Viruses) that Cause Foodborne Illnesses
Common Foodborne Pathogens
Botulism
Campylobacter
Clostridium perfringens
Cronobacter sakazakii
Cryptosporidium parvum
Cyclospora
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
Listeria
Norovirus
Illustration 2-1: Norovirus Outbreaks from Contaminated Food
Salmonella
Shigella
Vibrio
Yersinia
Three Pathogens Cause Vast Majority of Multistate Outbreaks
Foods Most Associated with Foodborne Illnesses
Organic Foods Not Safer than Conventional Foods
More than Half of Foodservice Workers Go to Work When Sick
Food Recalls
Food Allergies Are Another Food Safety Issue
Chapter 3: The Consumer
Key Points
Packaged Facts Consumer Survey
Concern About Food Safety Has Grown for 46% of Consumers
Figure 3-1: Response to the Question: “In the past few years, has your level of concern about food safety increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Manufacturers Held Most Responsible for Food Safety
Figure 3-2: Response to the Question: “Who is most responsible for making sure the foods we eat are safe?”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Two Out of Three Consumers Believe Food Stores Should Monitor Food Safety More Closely
Figure 3-3: Level of Agreement with the Statement: “Food stores should\ monitor food safety more closely”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Three Out of Four Consumers Think Fast-Food Restaurants Should Monitor Food Safety More Closely
Figure 3-4: Level of Agreement with the Statement: “Fast-food restaurants should monitor food safety more closely”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Consumers Worry About Various Food Safety Issues
Figure 3-5: Food Safety Issues of Particular Concern, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Fresh Meat/Poultry a Major Food Safety Concern for 63% of Consumers
Figure 3-6: Level of Agreement with the Statement: “Food safety/contamination is a major concern for me with fresh meat or poultry”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Food Allergies/Intolerances Affect Choices of One Out of Four Consumers
Figure 3-7: Level of Agreement with the Statement: “Food\ allergies/intolerances play an important role in which foods I choose”, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Four in 10 Consumers Believe GMO Foods Are Not Safe to Eat
Table 3-1: Demographic Indicators Favoring Agreement with Statement: “GMO food products are not safe to eat,” 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
GMO Avoidance Rate Jumps 25% in Two Years
Table 3-2: Avoidance of GMO Grocery Products, 2013 vs. 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
Figure 3-8: Consumers Purchasing Foods Labeled Non-GMO in the Past 30 Days, 2015 (percent of U.S. adults)
International Food Information Council Foundation Survey
“Chemicals in Food” Is Consumers’ Top Food Safety Concern
Illustration 3-1: “Chemicals in Food” Is the Top Food Safety Concern
Illustration 3-2: Food Safety Concerns by Confidence in Food Supply, 2015
Illustration 3-3: Food-Handling Practices at Home
Food Marketing Institute: U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2015
Majority Confident that Food in Grocery Stores and Restaurants Is Safe
Consumers Believe Responsibility for Food Safety Is Shared
Harris Interactive
Consumers Worry About Food Recalls
Hahn Public Communications
How Consumers Assess Food Safety
Daymon Worldwide
Ingredient Fears Reducing Consumer Enjoyment of Foods
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Americans Want Food Producers to Prioritize Food Safety
IDDBA/SupermarketGuru
Food Safety Survey
Other Consumer Surveys
80% of Americans Support Mandatory Labeling for DNA in Foods
Chapter 4: Case Histories—Marketers, Retailers, and Foodservice
Key Points
Case Histories Illustrate Different Approaches to Food Safety Problems
Case Histories: Marketers
Blue Bell Creameries Trying to Recover from Food Safety Crisis
February
March
April
May
June
Illustration 4-1: Listeria and Blue Bell Ice Cream
July
August
September through November
December
Blue Bell Post-Crisis
General Mills Recalls Gluten-Free Cheerios for Undeclared Gluten
Jensen Farms Cantaloupes Implicated in Listeria Outbreak
Peanut Corporation of America Execs Get Severe Jail Sentences for Knowingly Shipping Tainted Peanut Butter
Quality Egg LLC Execs Sentenced
Taylor Farms Recalls Celery Products
Historical Cases
Chobani Recalls Mold-Contaminated Yogurt
Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough
Odwalla Unpasteurized Apple Juice
Case Histories: Retailers
Kroger Co. Stops Selling Caramel Apples
Walmart Ahead of the Curve with Strict Standards and Protocols
Case Histories: Restaurants and Foodservice
Bon Appetit Management Co.: Norovirus Outbreak in Seattle
Chipotle Mexican Grill Beset by Five Separate Food Poisoning
Outbreaks
Norovirus Cause of December 2015 Outbreak
52 People Ill, 43 Restaurants Closed Due to October 2015 Outbreak
Two Separate August 2015 Outbreaks
July 2015 Outbreak Announced in November
Fallout from the Outbreaks
What Chipotle Is Doing to Improve Food Safety
Historical Cases
Jack in the Box
Taco Bell

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