Public awareness of food hygiene standards at a very high level

Published: 15 Aug 2018

The Food Standards Agency has released results of its biannual public attitudes tracker (May 2018). Elements covered by the survey include food safety concerns in UK food outlets, awareness of hygiene standards, allergens and food poisoning.

It is apparent that public awareness on matters relating to food hygiene standards in places where we eat at is very high. 82% of respondents reported that they were aware of hygiene standards in places they eat out at, or buy food from.

The FSA survey also indicates that pathogens such as Salmonella and E.coli are the most widely known types of food poisoning bacteria by the public in the United Kingdom.

The top food safety issues of concern for respondents were:

  • Food hygiene when eating out (33%)
  • Chemicals from the environment, such as lead, in food (30%)
  • Food additives (29%)
  • Food poisoning (28%)

Salmonella and E-coli were by far the most commonly known types of food poisoning (total awareness of 91% and 85% respectively). Perceived most likely sources of food poisoning were raw chicken or turkey (79%), followed by shellfish (55%), reheated take-away food (46%) and eggs (37%).

Most people (71%-78%) reported feeling confident to ask a member of staff at food outlets for more information about ingredients in food because of a concern about possible allergens / food intolerance.

The full set of results for the FSA biannual public attitudes tracker (May 2018) can be accessed using the weblink below: