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The International Food Information Council (IFIC) has released a new study suggesting that while more than eight out of 10 Americans are confident in their food safety habits, the reality is sobering – that " many report not following simple procedures to reduce the spread of bacteria in their kitchen or ensure safe cooking temperatures. In particular, less than half of Americans (48 percent) report using separate cutting boards for raw meat or poultry and produce, and even fewer Americans (29 percent) say they use a meat thermometer."

According to the survey, " Most Americans (92 percent) report washing their hands with soap and water when preparing food, and nearly as many (79 percent) say they store leftovers within two hours of serving. However, few Americans (15 percent) report checking the wattage on their microwaves, and even fewer (seven percent) say they use a meat thermometer when using their microwave."

The food safety issue was just one of seven so-called "diet disconnects" that IFIC highlighted in its study. The others were:

• People say they are trying to improve their diets in order to lose weight, but only 15 percent of Americans know how many calories they should consume per-day.

• While 88 percent of Americans say they are physically active, half of those say they do not balance diet and exercise as a way of managing their health. (Beyond that, the burgeoning obesity rates in the US would suggest that at least some of the 88 percent are being a trifle disingenuous.)

• More than nine out of 10 Americans say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but less than half of Americans actually eat breakfast on a daily basis.

• While 91 percent of Americans are aware of trans fats as a negative factor in one's diet, more than 60 percent do not understand that unsaturated fats are good for you.

• Americans remain concerned about carbohydrate intake, despite research showing that certain kinds of cabs are good for you.

• While "nearly 80 percent of Americans agree that consuming specific foods and beverages can provide certain health and wellness benefits beyond basic nutrition. But, 50 percent or more of Americans say they currently do not consume foods or beverages that deliver these benefits, although most are interested in doing so."

KC's View:
No question that diet disconnects exist. Which is why it makes sense for retailers to become a resource for information, not just a source of product…because if they can help shoppers connect the dots, it is good for the customer as well as for the business.