FSA survey on food safety and hygiene

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has conducted Public Attitudes Tracker surveys in the UK since 2001 to monitor key issues, such as concern about specific food safety issues and awareness of hygiene standards in eating establishments.

Survey findings in UK

Interviews were carried out in the UK with a representative sample of 2,640 adults for the 2015survey. [5] The key findings were:
• The most frequently mentioned wider food issues of concern were the amount of sugar in food (52%), food waste (49%) and the amount of salt in food (47%).
• The two food safety issues of concern that were most frequently mentioned by respondents were food hygiene when eating out (37%), and the use of additives in food products (29%).
• 83% of respondents reported being aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat out at or buy food from based on the general appearance of premises (61%) the appearance of staff (46%) and hygiene certificates (42%).
• Women were generally more likely than men to report concern about most food safety issues.Overall the findings are fairly consistent with previous surveys, with the main food safety and nutrition issues of concern remaining largely unchanged, although this is the first time that food prices have not been the highest wider food issue of concern.

Food and health survey in USA

The US International Food Information Council’s recent annual online Food and Health Survey of 1,007 Americans aged 18 to 80 [6] found that:
• 36% said ‘chemicals’ are their top food safety concern (an increase from 23% in 2014) followed by 34% who were concerned about food borne illness from bacteria.
• Fewer consumers agreed that sugars can have a place in a healthful diet compared to 2014.
• In comparison to 2014, more Americans are trying to limit or avoid gluten, lactose, sucrose and the sweetener acesulfame potassium.
• Only 13% of Americans believed that a sustainable diet means that the foods you eat create less food waste. This option was mainly selected by younger people.

In contrast to UK consumers, it appears that American consumers are more concerned about food additives than pathogens and are largely unconcerned about food waste.

Source: Fst Journal

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