Poll: Most Not Fully Confident in Food Safety

This poll was taken as part of CBS News' "Where America Stands" series, an in-depth look at where the country stands today on key topics and an outlook for the future decade.

(CBS)
Just one in three Americans are very confident that the food they buy is safe, a new CBS News poll finds – although the vast majority are at least somewhat confident that their food is safe.

Thirty-two percent say they are "very confident" about the safety of the food they buy, while 52 percent are "somewhat confident." The remaining 16 percent say they are not too confident or not at all confident in the safety of their food.

These results are reflected in the grades Americans give the country on ensuring the safety of the food supply. The most commonly offered grades were C, chosen by 34 percent of those surveyed, and B, chosen by 33 percent.

Just seven percent gave the country an A when it comes to keeping the food supply safe. Eighteen percent offered a D, and six percent served up a failing grade.

(CBS)
A person's faith in the food supply may have something to do with the food they can afford. Those with high incomes are more confident in the safety of the food supply than those who earn comparatively less.

Forty-two percent of Americans who make more than $100,000 are very confident the food they buy is safe. Just 24 percent of those who make less than $30,000 say the same.

Men are more likely than women to be very confident that the food they buy is safe, and college graduates are more likely that those with less education to say so.

The region where Americans have the most trust in the food supply is the Midwest. Americans in the South have the least trust in the food supply.

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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,048 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone December 17-22, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.