Survey finds 76 percent of Brits take food safety for granted
A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by the Red Tractor Food Assurance Scheme, found that 8 out of 10 UK adults are not concerned about food safety and standards.
8 out of 10 adults admit to taking food safety for granted, according to new research from YouGov commissioned by the Red Tractor Food Assurance Scheme, the largest food and farming standards scheme in the UK.
The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults focused on people’s concerns about the food they buy and how their confidence in UK produced food has been restored.
The research has also revealed a difference in the levels of trust between supermarkets and restaurants when it comes to their food standards. 71 percent of UK adults are confident that the food they buy from a supermarket has been produced to high standards and that they know where it comes from; compared to only half of people who feel confident about standards and traceability when eating out at a restaurant or café.
76 percent of people admitted that they take food being produced to high safety and food standards for granted. This increases to 79 percent for Londoners, who are considered least likely to be concerned about food safety.
The survey revealed that people are most worried about what they perceive could have a direct negative impact on their health. Of all the high-profile food crises in the past, the one that was noted to have made people the most concerned was mad cow disease (BSE) with 72 percent of Brits admitting to being fairly or very concerned. The numbers increased to 83 percent for those aged 55 and above, and increased to 85 percent in areas like the North East of England which have a prominent farming community.
“If people are now taking food safety for granted, then it demonstrates that we’ve been doing something right,” said Jim Moseley, CEO, Red Tractor Assurance.
“Red Tractor was created almost two decades ago, after a spate of food scares and confidence in British food and farming was at a low. Our standards were designed to ensure food that is produced is safe, traceable and farmed carefully, in order to transform and rebuild trust in British farming and food quality from farm to pack.
“However, the success in driving up British food standards must not be undermined by a potential influx of imported food produced to standards that are currently deemed illegal in this country, should we be faced with a no-deal Brexit. There is no more important time for people to recognise that not all food is produced to the same rigorous standards as the UK,” Moseley added.
A relaxed view on safety is considered to be linked with the high expectations people now hold for UK produced food. 60 percent of people cited that the thing they value most about food produced in the UK is to be supporting British farmers (30 percent), to purchase local produce (16 percent) and to value the way in which the food is produced (14 percent); while one in four Brits (24 percent) say their most important consideration is the quality of British food.
The research also shows that the way Brits think about food safety is influenced by media reporting. 41 percent of people think about food safety every time they go out shopping to buy food, but this rose to 52 percent when they see a headline in the media.