Monday, July 21, 2008

Food Supply Fear Lingers Among Americans

Safe KidsWhile food safety has always been an issue, recently it has been brought to the front of every American's mind. Even after Missouri's tomatoes have been approved as safe by the FDA, shoppers still question food integrity at supermarkets. Many people have been switching to farmers' markets for their produce. At farmers' markets consumers can visit with the people who actually grow what food is ending up on their plate and be confident in the safety of their fresh products.

Poll Shows Fear Lingers for Americans on Food

The tomato scare might be over, but it has taken a toll - it has cost the industry an estimated $100 million and left millions of people with a new wariness about the safety of everyday foods.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll finds that nearly half of consumers have changed their eating and buying habits in the past six months because they’re afraid they could get sick by eating contaminated food.

They also overwhelmingly support setting up a better system to trace produce in an outbreak back to the source, the poll found.

The people who feel that way include the growers.

Virginia’s East Coast Produce, one of the largest tomato growers in the country, has been hammered by slumping demand and falling prices, although Virginia tomatoes were cleared early on, said sales manager Batista Madonia III. He said he’s frustrated by the government’s inability to find the cause of the outbreak despite a nearly two-month investigation.

The salmonella outbreak has sickened more than 1,200 people in 42 states since the first cases were seen in April.

Read the entire story here.