Food and You survey results

The latest FSA Food and You survey, which is published once every two years and provides information on reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food issues, has been published.

This year it found that 51% of adults surveyed stored meat in line with FSA guidelines suggesting that up to half may store raw meat in a way that could lead to cross-contamination.

FSA advice is to always keep raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge away from cooked meats and other fresh and ready-to-eat food so juices do not drip onto other food products. Wrapping raw meats in cling film or storing away in sealed containers will help to guard against cross-contamination.

The survey showed an increase in awareness of the FSA’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland. Ratings for food outlets can be found on the FSA website. Recognition of the schemes was found to be highest in Northern Ireland at 88%. Lowest awareness was in Scotland at 70%. Recognition of the schemes across the UK had increased significantly with latest figures showing that 76% of respondents were aware of the scheme, up from 55% in previous years.

The survey also gives an insight into the number of people with a food allergy. In total, 4% reported having an allergy. Of that 4%, nearly two thirds (66%) said they had seen a doctor about their allergy with 40% saying that it had been clinically diagnosed. Overall, 11% of respondents reported living in a household in which someone had a food allergy (not necessarily clinically diagnosed).

The Food and You survey is used to collect information about reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food safety issues. It provides data on people’s reports of their food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these such as eating habits, influences on where respondents choose to eat out and experiences of food poisoning.

This is the third round of the survey, which consisted of 3,453 interviews with a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over across the UK. Food and You is carried out on behalf on the FSA by TNS BMRB.

Reports of findings individual to each UK country will be will be published in four separate country reports on 16 December. These will include findings related to healthy eating in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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