Nearly two-thirds of Utahns are apprehensive that their food may make them sick - and even more are taking precautions to make sure it doesn't, according to a Deseret News poll.

Asked "how concerned are you that the food you eat will make you sick?" 29 percent said they are very concerned, and 34 percent said they are somewhat concerned, according to the poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates.Of those Utahns that are concerned, poultry was the most worrisome (57 percent are very concerned and 34 percent somewhat concerned about it), and meat came in a close second (51 percent very concerned, 39 percent somewhat concerned).

Milk was deemed the most safe (41 percent are "not at all concerned" about its safety). Three quarters of the Utahns polled said they are either very concerned (29 percent) or somewhat concerned (44 percent) about eggs; 22 percent are very concerned and 49 percent are somewhat concerned about the safety of fruits and vegetables.

When they prepare their food, 77 percent said they always wash their hands immediately after handling raw meat, 80 percent always cook hamburger meat until it is well done, 83 percent always refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparing them, and 54 percent disinfect work surfaces all of the time.

According to the poll results, women are more worried than men about the safety of their food. Women fell more often in the "very concerned" category, men more often in the "somewhat concerned" category for all food safety questions asked.

Women are also more likely to wash their hands after handling meat, disinfect work surfaces, cook hamburger meat until well done and refrigerate leftovers within two hours.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Deseret News Poll

How concerned are you about the following type of food?

MEAT:

Very concerned 51%

Somewhat concerned 39%

Not at all concerned 8%

Don't know 2%

POULTRY:

Very concerned 57%

Somewhat concerned 34%

Not at all concerned 7%

Don't know 2%

FRUITS/VEGETABLES:

Very concerned 22%

Somewhat concerned 49%

Not at all concerned 28%

Don't know 1%

EGGS:

Very concerned 29%

Somewhat concerned 44%

Not at all concerned 25%

Don't know 3%

MILK:

Very concerned 24%

Somewhat concerned 33%

Not at all concerned 41%

Don't know 3%

How concerned are you that the food you eat will make you sick?

Very concerned 29%

Somewhat concerned 34%

Not at all concerned 36%

Don't know 1%

This poll of 962 Utah residents was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates Apr. 6-11, 1998. It has a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent.