An upward trend for the past 10 years, consumer confidence in the safety of beef has climbed again in 2012, totaling a 14% increase for steaks and roasts and a 20% increase for ground beef since 2002, according to a beef checkoff survey.
The study included an online survey of more than 1,000 adult beef-eaters. One-third of study participants eat beef more than three times a week and 49% of respondents eat beef one to two times a week.
Regarding confidence in preparation, respondents generally indicated that they felt better about the safety of beef when prepared personally rather than at a restaurant. Significant findings include consumer confidence about ground beef at home vs. at a restaurant: 72% said they were confident in from the supermarket, whereas 52% said they were confident in the safety of ground beef at a restaurant.
Concerns about E. coli have dropped, as the number of respondents who indicated concern about its presence in ground beef has declined. Just 19% think illnesses are increasing.
Survey results indicate ground beef remains more of a safety concern for consumers, but respondents also demonstrated increasing confidence in its safety. The number of consumers who are confident in ground beef safety has improved from 60% in 2002 to 80% in 2012. Additionally, 72% of consumers are confident in store-bought ground beef.
Another element of the survey included preparation knowledge. More than half of survey participants said the degree of doneness can be determined by looking inside a hamburger patty to see if there is pink. Just under half (43%) said they are aware of the proper cooking temperature for ground beef, which is 150 degrees F. About 70% did not know the proper temperature or have the proper temperature wrong.
Source: Beef Issues Quarterly