FSA’s biannual public attitudes tracker survey results
Food hygiene was a particular concern, with 82 per cent of respondents being aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat or buy food from.
The FSA has published the results of its biannual survey from May 2018. The survey was conducted with consumer participants from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to identify changes in consumer attitudes towards food-related issues and the FSA.
The main issues seen throughout the survey for respondents was food hygiene when eating out, chemicals from the environment in food, additives and food poisoning. Wider issues of concern lie with the amount of sugar in food, food wastage, prices and animal welfare.
The survey demonstrated 45 per cent of respondents were concerned about food safety in UK restaurants, cafes and takeaways with 43 per cent concerned about food safety in UK shops and supermarkets.
Food hygiene was a particular concern, with 82 per cent of respondents being aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat or buy food from. The most common method of receiving such information was via hygiene stickers or certificates, and the general appearance of the premises.
Food poisoning was also a main concern, with salmonella and E.coli being the two best known types of food poisoning, and chicken, turkey, shellfish, reheated take-away food and eggs being the most likely causes of food poisoning (listed from most likely to least, based on consumer survey data).
Most respondents, around 71-78 per cent, reported that they were confident to ask a member of staff about ingredients for allergy or food-intolerance purposes, with 15 per cent aware of specific rules about allergens and 11 per cent reporting a food allergy or intolerance.
While the majority (75 per cent) reported they trust that their food ‘is what it says it is’ and the accuracy of labelling, and 73 per cent trusted the authenticity of ingredients, their origin and the quality of food, only 41 per cent of respondents suggested they trusted people who produce and sell food as having the consumers’ best interests at heart.
Lastly, the findings established that 79 per cent of respondents were aware of the FSA, with 69 per cent trusting the FSA ‘to do its job’ and 72 per cent said they would trust the FSA to tell the truth with the information provided.
Similar to previous surveys, respondents were most concerned that food being bought is safe to eat, with 89 per cent concerned about food safety.