The key findings on food safety practices in the home can be found below.
Social and economic predictors
Those most likely to report food safety practices in line with FSA recommendations are:
- aged under 65 years
- living in Northern Ireland
- of white ethnicity
- married or cohabiting
Furthermore, people in households with young children (under the age of five) are more likely to report behaviours in line with recommended food safety practice than those with older or no children.
The results suggest that the extent to which reported behaviours are in line with recommended practice is related to social-demographic variables (such as age, gender and ethnicity), but not socio-economic variables (such as income, education, and housing tenure).
Current and future sources of information
Half of those who currently access information on preparing and cooking food safely, receive this information from retailers and food producers, with slightly fewer citing TV and radio, friends and family, or books and newspapers. Men and those in the oldest age group (65+ years) are most likely to say they do not currently look for information on food safety. In the future, it is likely that the internet will be an increasing source of information on food safety, particularly for those aged 16-34 years.
Knowledge and attitudes
While there is likely to be a link between knowledge and reported food safety behaviour, there is little evidence of an association between attitudes and reported behaviour. It is not clear how social desirability bias is implicated in the proposed link between knowledge and behaviour (people who know what recommended practice is, report practice in line with knowledge rather than their actual behaviour).