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Food and You

Food shopping
Published: March 2017

The latest report from the Food Standards Agency's flagship consumer survey is now available.

Aim 

The Food and You survey is used to collect information about public attitudes to food, how the public behaves around food and how much they know about food issues, such as food safety.

It is conducted every two years and is used to identify trends and change over time. Because the survey is repeated every couple of years it is a useful benchmark of whether Government policies and campaigns are having an impact.

Findings 

New findings published in March 2017 and you can download the latest report from the FSA's website. A summary of the key findings is given below:

  • Women were more likely than men to report all or most of the responsibility for cooking or preparing food in the home (67% compared with 30%). 
  • Overall 86% of respondents reported always washing their hands before starting to prepare or cook food.
  • When asked what respondents thought the temperature inside the fridge should be, the majority (48%) said it should be between 0 and 5°C (the recommended temperature). 
  • Three quarters (75%) cited 'use by' dates as an indicator of whether food was safe to eat, in line with FSA recommended practice.
  • When asked which methods they used to defrost meat or fish, the method reported by the highest proportion of respondents (58%) was leaving meat or fish at room temperature, which is not recommended. 
  • When shown a list of factors which might influence their decision on where to eat out, 72% of respondents reported that the cleanliness and hygiene of the establishment was important to them; overall a third (30%) of respondents who ate out considered this the most important factor.
  • Overall, 44% of respondents reported having had food poisoning.

Methods 

Face to face surveys are conducted with adults aged 16 and over in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.