Despite this year's numerous food safety catastrophes, U.S. consumers aren't too worried about the possible effects.
Market research firm NPD Group recently found that concern levels about food safety for 2012 are not remarkably different from different years. On average, 60 percent of U.S. consumers are somewhat or slightly concerned about the safety of the American food supply, 25 percent are extremely or very concerned and 15 percent are not concerned at all.
That isn't to say people didn't respond at all to news reports about listeria-laced cantaloupes and peanut butter contaminated with salmonella. The numbers suggest spikes in concern when reports of such outbreaks and product recalls broke, but concerns leveled off once new died down.
In a release, NPD good and beverage industry analyst Darren Seifer stressed that the amount of news coverage, or when a recall's severity is presented in terms of numbers sickened or killed, impacts consumer concern. Still, that may not be enough:
“Recalls, unfortunately, have become more commonplace, but consumers are creatures of habit. It takes a lot for us to change what we eat.”
But recent reports suggest that consumers should, in fact, be worried. Bloomberg Market's November 2012 issue goes into detail about the current state of safety in the American food market -- and how little it's improved in the last 100 years.
Contaminated food leads to about 3,000 deaths each year, and the myriad recalls and outbreaks this year have done nothing to lessen the problem.
Click through the below gallery for a list of 2012's worst food safety disasters.