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Privacy notice for the Food and You Survey

Information on the Food and You 2 Survey privacy policy, why we require data, what we do with the data and your rights.

Last updated: 30 June 2021

Who is carrying out this research?

This survey is being carried out by Ipsos, an independent survey agency, on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). 

The FSA is an independent government department responsible for protecting the public from risks relating to food. They protect public health in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ensuring that the food you buy is safe to eat. 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also provides a financial contribution to the survey. 

The FSA is the Data Controller for this research. Ipsos is the Data Processor. 

Where did you get my address from?

You have been sent an invitation to take part because your address was randomly selected from the postal address file (PAF). PAF is a collection of Royal Mail postal addresses and postcodes of the UK. About 20,000 addresses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be selected to take part in each bi-annual wave of the Food and You 2 survey. 

Ipsos are the data controllers of the PAF sample it holds in-house. Your address information will be stored securely and won’t be passed to the FSA.

Why do you need information from me?

The FSA has an obligation to compile and publish Official Statistics. Doing so is of great benefit to the public. This research will also help the FSA fulfil its statutory duty under the Food Standards Act 1999, to protect the wider interests of the consumer, public health and to promote food safety and food standards. The information collected in this survey will be used for research purposes only. This research will help the FSA understand people’s attitudes and behaviour relating to food in order to inform FSA policies and communication activities. The lawful basis for processing is public task. 

As a thank you for completing this survey, we would like to offer you a gift voucher. To receive your voucher, you will be asked to provide an email address at the end of the survey. 

We will also ask you whether you would be happy to be re-contacted by the FSA, or research agencies acting on the FSA’s behalf, to take part in future research. If you agree to be re-contacted by the FSA or their partners, Ipsos will forward your name and email address. Ipsos also send the FSA your Food and You survey responses which are stored separately and only linked to your contact details to identify groups of interest for follow-up research purposes only. Please be assured that all data is held securely by the above organisations and your name and email address will only be used by the FSA or their partners for research purposes if follow up research is done. This information will not be used for commercial purposes and will be destroyed after two years. You are able to withdraw your consent for this at any time by getting in touch with the FSA at:

How will my information be used?

Your responses to the survey will be combined with the responses collected from the thousands of other people who are taking part in this research. The survey findings will be published in a report, data tables and a dataset. Your personal details will be removed so that the published findings will not identify you. 

Who will have access to my personal data?

All data passed to the FSA will be anonymised other than your name and email address if you have agreed to take part in further research. 

How long will my information be held by Ipsos and the FSA?

Ipsos is compliant with the highest regulatory standards for the legal and safe processing of personal and/or sensitive data, including the Market Research Society Code of Conduct, IS0 27001 and GDPR. 

Ipsos will only retain your data in a way that can identify you for as long as is necessary to support the research project and findings. In practice, this means that once we have satisfactorily reported the anonymous research findings, Ipsos will securely remove your personal identifiable information from their systems, unless you have given permission to be re-contacted. In such cases, Ipsos will retain your personal data securely for two years after which time all personal data will be securely deleted from their systems. Your anonymised, nonidentifiable data will be retained to support the research project, findings and published reports.

Ipsos will use the suppliers Adare SEC (printers), Formara Limited and Love2Shop. Address level information is provided to Adare SEC in order to print letters for the survey and paper questionnaires. Name and address details are provided to Formara Limited to dispatch gift vouchers and name and email is given to Love2Shop to dispatch e-codes. Formara Limited and Love2Shop will only receive and use your contact details to send you your gift voucher. They will not contact you for any other reasons or pass your data to anyone else. Data is erased from Adar SEC's and Formara's system within two months and from Love2Shop's after six years.

The anonymised research findings provided to the FSA will be held indefinitely.

Contact details passed on to the FSA for re-contact purposes will be held securely for two years before being securely deleted.

All the data processed by the FSA is located on servers within the European Union. FSA cloud-based services have been procured through the government framework agreements and these services have been assessed against the national cyber security centre cloud security principles.

No other third parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so.

What personal information will you be collecting?

Personal identifying data collected as part of the Food and You 2 survey may include: 

  • Detailed ethnicity, gender, health, income and religious data. Any questions which ask about this information will have a ‘prefer not to say’ answer option
  • Geo-demographic data, which Ipsos has been asked to append to the anonymised dataset it provides to the FSA
  • Email address and name, requested from the respondent for the purposes of sending a gift voucher and/or if agreed to recontact (passed to the FSA separately to the anonymised dataset) 

Once collected, personal data will be anonymised. The data listed above will therefore only be able to identify an individual in limited circumstances. For the majority of survey participants Ipsos and the FSA will not be able to identify an individual’s personal data in the survey data.

What are my rights?

You have a right to see the information we hold on you by making a request in writing to the email addresses below. If at any point you believe the information is incorrect you can request to have it corrected. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter.

Further information 

For more information on your rights, please see the Your rights section in our Personal Information Charter.  

For more  information on How and where we store your data and who we may share it with see our Personal Information Charter.

For information on how we might use and share data as part of our risk monitoring function, see the Monitoring and Evaluation of Risks section in our Personal Information Charter.  

Who should I contact if I have questions? 

The Data Protection Officer in the Ipsos Compliance team can be contacted at (please quote “22-038192-01, Food and You 2” in any contact with them).

The Data Protection Officer in the FSA is the Information Management and Security Team Leader who can be contacted at:

If you are not satisfied with the response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). For further information please see the ICO website