Food Safety Survey

Years Available
1988, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2016
Mode of Collection
Sample survey: telephone interview (cell and land line).
The Food Safety Survey is a nationally-representative telephone survey of adults (ages 18 years and older) in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey examines consumers' knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs about food safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have been commissioning this survey periodically since 1988. The survey is intended to help FDA and USDA make informed regulatory, educational, and other decisions by providing a better understanding of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to food safety.
Selected Content
The survey topics include (1) perception of individual and societal risk related to food consumption, (2) food handling, (3) food product safety label understanding and usage, (4) consumption of potentially risky foods, (5) attitudes toward new food technologies, (6) perception, knowledge and experience with foodborne illness, and (7) food safety knowledge sources. Household demographic data are also collected.
Population Covered
Noninstitutionalized adults ages 18 years and older in the 50 states and the District of Columbia who speak either English or Spanish.
Respondents were randomly selected from an overlapping dual-frame consisting of both landlines and cellphones. Regional coverage was controlled to assure the survey could reach sufficient numbers of African American and Hispanic persons. In the landline portion of the survey, the most recent birthday method was used to select the eligible household respondent. Each respondent was randomly assigned to one of two versions of the survey. Survey questions included both items from previous surveys and new items. Survey data were weighted to account for sampling design, probability of selection in the landline sample, and key demographics (age, education, gender, and race/ethnicity).
Response Rates and Sample Size
A total of 4,169 respondents completed the survey in 2016, representing a 21% dual-frame combined response rate. The completed interviews included 2,021 landline and 2,148 cellphone interviews.
Lando A, Verrill L, Liu S, Smith E. 2016 FDA Food Safety Survey. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA.