Food and You wave five survey report published

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today published the findings for wave five of the Food and You survey.
25 April 2019

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.

Key findings:

Shopping habits

Since 2012, buying from mini supermarkets has increased from 35% to 43%, and supermarket home delivery has increased from 10% to 17%.

Food hygiene ratings for food businesses (FHRS)

The majority of respondents (87%) reported having seen the FHRS sticker. There have been increasing levels of recognition of the scheme stickers since they were introduced in 2010, from 34% in 2012, to 68% in 2014, 83% in 2016 and 87% in 2018.

Around three in five respondents mentioned good service (61%), a good hygiene rating score (60%) and the price of food (60%) as important in their decisions about where to eat out.

Hygiene habits in the home

The IRP is a tool that the FSA use to measure food hygiene knowledge and behaviour in the home. A higher IRP score indicates more reported behaviours that are in line with recommended food safety practice. The average score in wave five is 67%, the same as reported in wave four and an increase from 64% in wave one, showing that most respondents follow our recommendations on food safety in the home.

Food poisoning

In Wave 5, 47% of respondents reported that they had experienced food poisoning at some time in their lives, an increase from between 40% and 41% in 2012 and 2014 and 44% in 2016.

Michelle Patel, Head of Social Science said:

'We work hard to make sure that the consumer is at the heart of everything we do. Food and You is a unique, robust and representative dataset, and is one of several ways that we build a robust and representative evidence base on the interests of consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland when it comes to food.’

About the survey

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 FSA uses the information in Food and You to inform policies and its work with consumers.  It is also a useful resource for anybody interested in understanding consumer behaviour and attitudes towards food over several years.

Read the reports

Food and You waves one to five (2010-18).

Individual country reports for Northern Ireland and Wales will be published during summer 2019.