FDA Seeking Comments for 2005 Consumer Food Safety Survey

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services will be conducting a 2005 Food Safety Survey to collect information about consumers' food safety awareness, knowledge, concerns, and practices.

The agency is now accepting public comments on the information collection activities until Feb. 1, 2005.

Participation in the survey will be voluntary, and will be conducted via telephone to a random, nationally representative sample of 4,000 adults in households. The survey will include an oversample of Hispanics with a minimum of 500 Hispanics. Additionally, 200 initial nonrespondents will be asked to participate in a short version of the survey, to conduct a nonresponse analysis.

The focus of the survey will be food safety risk perception, perceived sources of food contamination, knowledge of particular microorganisms, food-handling practices, consumption of raw foods from animals, and perceived foodborne illness and food allergy experience.

The majority of the survey questions are identical to those in the 2001 survey. However, it is expected that consumer knowledge and attitudes regarding food safety have changed due to consumer education campaigns and increased media attention to food safety issues. New topics will include awareness of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and acrylamide, refrigeration practices, and updated questions on washing practices for fresh fruits and vegetables.

FDA has requested that comments regarding the information collection for the survey should address the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Electronic comments should be submitted to http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. Written comments should be directed to Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD, 20852. Remember to include the docket number in comments.
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