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People are asked, for example, if their refrigerator temperature is 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, whether raw meat is stored below other foods on refrigerator shelves, and whether fruits and vegetables are always thoroughly rinsed before they are eaten.
The study is based on quizzes taken through 2008.
Overall, 34 percent got an A, meaning they correctly answered at least 90 percent of the questions. Another 27 percent got a B, 25 percent a C, and 14 percent failed to score at least a 70.
An estimated 87 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the United States each year, including 371,000 hospitalizations and 5,700 deaths, according to an Associated Press calculation that uses a CDC formula and recent population estimates.
Many outbreaks that receive publicity are centered on people who got sick after eating at a restaurant, catered celebration or large social gathering. In this summer's outbreak linked to salmonella in eggs, several illnesses were first identified in clusters among restaurant patrons.
But experts believe the bulk of food poisonings are unreported illnesses from food prepared at home.
The study is being published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Food safety quiz: http://bit.ly/aMyIdw
CDC publication: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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