The Food and You survey, which includes data from England, Wales and Northern Ireland is used to collect information about the public’s self-reported behaviours and attitudes to buying, cooking and eating food and is published every two years.
Dietary restrictions, food allergy and intolerance
The most common food groups that people reported having an adverse reaction to were cows’ milk and cows’ milk products (21% of affected respondents), cereals containing gluten (16%) and fruit (15%).
Almost all respondents shopped for food in large supermarkets (94%). Other types of retailer were used by a minority of respondents, most commonly mini supermarkets (37%), local or corner shops (31%) and independent butchers (28%).
In Wales, 80% of respondents lived in households with high food security, 10% in households classified as marginally food secure, and 10% reported living in household with low or very low food security. These proportions have remained at similar levels since Wave 4 (2016).
Food hygiene ratings for food businesses (FHRS)
Since 2013, it has been a legal requirement for businesses in Wales to display their FHRS rating. Most respondents (94%) reported having seen the sticker belonging to the FHRS. There have been increasing levels of recognition of the Scheme stickers since they were introduced in 2010, from 43% in Wave 2 (2012) to 76% in Wave 3 (2014) and 89% in Wave 4 (2016) and 94% in Wave 5 (2018).
Hygiene habits in the home
Less than half of respondents (46%) said that they always used different chopping boards for different foods, in line with practices recommended to avoid cross contamination, while 19% never did. Recommendations on storing food in the fridge were followed by 68% who stored raw meat and poultry on the bottom shelf of the fridge, and the same proportion who never stored food in open tins in the fridge.
Deciding where to eat out
When deciding where to eat out, respondents most commonly used their own experience of the place (67%), recommendations from family and friends (52%) or word of mouth (50%).
When shown a list of factors which might influence their decision on where to eat out, respondents were most likely to mention a good hygiene rating score (71%), good service (67%), and the price of food (56%) as important.
About the survey
Food and You is an official statistic that has been running on a biennial basis since 2010. It provides key data on the public’s self-reported knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in relation to food safety and food related issues. The FSA uses the information to inform policies and its work with consumers.
Fieldwork for wave five was conducted between June and November 2018 and consisted of 2,241 interviews with a representative sample of adults (16 and over) across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Wales report includes findings based on 536 interviews from a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over in Wales. It sits alongside the combined report published on 25 April 2019.