New survey says majority of Canadians do not feel responsible for food safety

Canadians are concerned about food contamination and bacteria, but new research suggests many don't feel personally responsible for keeping themselves safe.

In a recent survey by Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University, only about 18 per cent of respondents felt consumers were among the groups most responsible for food safety even though up to 80 per cent of contamination happens in consumers' own kitchens.

More than 83 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that "food contamination primarily occurs before food reaches my home."

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie, says this means most consumers don't feel responsible, while most food-borne illnesses are due to cross-contamination at home.

Respondents also underestimated the number of food recalls in 2017, with more than 60 per cent estimating there were fewer than 50 when there were actually 155.

The study surveyed more than one-thousand Canadian adults last month and the results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.