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FSA publishes Food and You 2012 survey results

26 March 2013

The Food Standards Agency has published the second wave of its biannual survey exploring the public’s attitudes and reported behaviour on food safety issues.

Following face-to-face interviews with more than 3000 people across the UK, the survey found that:

  • older respondents (aged 75+) were more than twice as likely to report food safety practices that were not in line with FSA guidance compared to younger respondents (aged 35-44)
  • male respondents were 1.5 times as likely to report food safety practices that were not in line with FSA guidance, compared to female respondents
  • the majority of respondents’ food safety practices in the home were in line with FSA guidance. This was especially the case for cleaning and cooking practices and least likely to be the case for chilling practices
  • compared to Wave 1 (carried out in 2010), a greater proportion of respondents in Wave 2 said that, in line with recommended practice, they never wash raw meat and poultry (32% compared to 26% in Wave 1) and that the fridge temperature should be between 0-5°C (53% compared to 46% in Wave 1)
  • only two-thirds (64%) of respondents said that ‘use by’ dates were the best indicator of whether food was safe to eat. Other commonly reported indicators were how food smells and how it looks
  • almost three-quarters (72%) reported being concerned about food poisoning, and more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents said that cleanliness and hygiene was a consideration when deciding where to eat out
  • a third (34%) of respondents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reported previously having seen a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme certificate and/or sticker. Forty-four per cent of respondents in Scotland reported having seen a Food Hygiene Information Scheme sticker and/or certificate
Bob Martin, FSA food safety adviser, said: "The report shines light on the public’s attitude and reported behaviour regarding food safety, both in the home and when eating out. The findings will help us to target our work with consumers where we can make the biggest impact on reducing foodborne disease."

Full survey results are available here.


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