Food safety awareness up, more needed

July 31, 2007 at 8:19 PM
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CHICAGO, July 31 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer and homemaker awareness of the steps to take to combat food-borne illness is growing, but many still miss simple safety measures.

A report on consumer food safety conducted by RTI International for the Partnership for Food Safety Education found 74 percent of the respondents reportedly know that they should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw foods, but only 53 percent actually do.

Seventy-one percent said they know fresh fruits and vegetables need to be washed before serving, but only 49 percent do.

"Do consumers follow recommended food handling practice? The answer is 'yes' and 'no,'" Sheryl Cates, a research policy analyst at RTI, said in a statement.

"There is a gap between what consumers know and what they do when cooking at home. And for some particular practices, the gap is quite large."

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