April 26, 2021

The Food Safety and Nutrition Survey Results Released by FDA

The Food Safety and Nutrition Survey Results Released by FDA

The United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Safety Nutrition Survey (FSANS) results were released. The FSANS assesses consumers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding, and reports the behaviors relating to a variety of food safety and nutrition-related topics. The results help the FDA make informed regulatory, policy, education, and other risk-management decisions to promote and protect public health.

The FSANS combines the Food Safety Survey, conducted in 2016, and the Health and Diet Survey, conducted in 2014. The survey was sent by mail to respondents who could submit online or by mail. Approximately 4,400 responses were collected between October and November 2019.

The key findings of the survey relating to food safety and nutrition are:

  • Most consumers are familiar with the Nutrition Facts label – 87% of respondents have looked at the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. The top four items that consumers look for on the label are Calories, Total Sugar, Sodium, and Serving Size. Consumers report using the label most frequently for seeing “how high or low the food is in things like calories, salt, vitamins, or fat,” “for getting a general idea of the nutritional content of the food,” and “to compare different food items with each other.”  
  • Most consumers have seen menu labeling at restaurants – Most respondents (70%) reported that they have seen calorie information on menus and menu boards. Of those who have seen such information, 53% reported using the calorie information and most often indicated using it to avoid ordering high-calorie menu items. 
  • Consumers are familiar with the front of package claims – Over 80% of respondents have seen claims such as, “No added sugar,” “Whole grain,” “Organic,” Gluten-free,” “Low fat,” “No artificial ingredients,” “Low sugar,” and “No artificial colors.” 
  • Hand washing practices vary depending on the occasion – Consumers are more likely to wash hands with soap after touching raw meat (76%), than before preparing food (68%), or after cracking raw eggs (39%). 
  • The majority of consumers own a food thermometer, but usage varies depending on what is being cooked – Sixty-two (62%) of respondents reported owning a food thermometer. Usage among those who own food thermometers and cook the food ranges from 85% for whole chickens, 79% for beef, lamb, or pork roasts, to 40% for chicken parts, 36% for burgers, 23% for egg dishes, and 20% for frozen meals.

Read the report here.