ABSTRACT This study assessed the perceptions of Kentucky consumers regarding the safety of the nation's food supply. Data were collected through a telephone survey of 728 respondents. Overall, most consumers were very or somewhat confident in the nation's food supply. Significant differences were noted among consumers based on age, gender and household income. The most likely locations for food safety problems were identified as food processing plants, followed by restaurants. Respondents that were most confident in the nation's food supply believed food poisoning occurred less frequently than those who were not confident in the food supply. Those consumers who were very confident and somewhat confident in the food supply had a significantly different perception of health risks in food from germs, pesticide residues and preservatives than those who had no confidence in the food supply. Respondents with someone in the household working in the foodservice industry were not significantly different in their confidence of the nation's food supply, or in their opinion of where food safety problems occur, than those who did not. Implications for the foodservice and hospitality industry are discussed.

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