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Impact of changing consumer lifestyles on the emergence/reemergence of foodborne pathogens.
  • Published Date:
    1997 Oct-Dec
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 3(4):471-479.
Filetype[PDF - 83.23 KB]


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  • Description:
    Foodborne illness of microbial origin is the most serious food safety problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 79% of outbreaks between 1987 and 1992 were bacterial; improper holding temperature and poor personal hygiene of food handlers contributed most to disease incidence. Some microbes have demonstrated resistance to standard methods of preparation and storage of foods. Nonetheless, food safety and public health officials attribute a rise in incidence of foodborne illness to changes in demographics and consumer lifestyles that affect the way food is prepared and stored. Food editors report that fewer than 50% of consumers are concerned about food safety. An American Meat Institute (1996) study details lifestyle changes affecting food behavior, including an increasing number of women in the workforce, limited commitment to food preparation, and a greater number of single heads of households. Consumers appear to be more interested in convenience and saving time than in proper food handling and preparation.