Product safety is a critical issue for the food industry. Shoppers expect to be provided with concrete details about the foods they buy, enabling them to decide which foods are safe to purchase and consume. The results of TÜV SÜD’s Safety Gauge study show that consumers are particularly sensitive to safety issues where animal products are concerned.
It’s an open secret that consumers are more willing to place their trust in products that offer proven safety, and are thus more likely to purchase those products. This is particularly true of the food industry, where illness may result from unsafe food products. The main culprits are usually microorganisms such as salmonella or E-coli bacteria, which proliferate in and on foods and may trigger health complaints when consumed.
As the Safety Gauge study conducted by TÜV SÜD shows, “Consumers are particularly sensitive to safety issues in relation to animal-based products, and regard these products as potentially harbouring risks”, says Dr Ron Wacker, food expert at TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH. 90 per cent of consumers surveyed categorise raw meat and fish as the most unsafe products, followed by milk and dairy products and eggs (86 per cent). Risks associated with these products are chiefly caused by incorrect storage.
However, documented cases of ill-health caused by harmful foods show that diseases such as salmonella poisoning are by no means triggered solely by animal products. Vegetable products such as fruit, vegetables and nuts – or rather, the bacteria that live on their surfaces – are likewise frequent causes of illness. “This often happens when crops are infected by microorganisms from natural fertilisers or from the water used for their irrigation”, explains Dr Wacker. Consumers should thus take care to wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
For information on food safety, visit http://www.tuv-sud.com/foodsafety
TÜV SÜD’s Safety Gauge study: https://www.tuv-sud.com/150-years/home/stories/tuv-sud-safety-gauge
Press contact: Carolin Eckert