Food and You - Wave Five

Research from wave five of the biennial Food and You consumer survey.
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The Food and You consumer survey collects information about the public's reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food safety and food issues. This involves food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these.  

The survey provides data for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since 2014, results from Food and You have been published as an Official Statistic, reflecting the robust methodology of the survey. 

Objectives 

The specific objectives of Food and You wave five were to:  

  • Explore public understanding and engagement with food safety 

  • Assess knowledge of messages and interventions aimed at raising awareness and changing behaviour 

  • Describe public attitudes to food production and the food system  

  • Monitor trends in reported behaviour, attitudes and knowledge (compared with data from the previous four waves or from other sources)

  • Identify target groups for future interventions (e.g. those most at risk or those among whom FSA policies and initiatives are likely to have the greatest impact) 

  • Provide indicators and evidence for tracking the FSA’s strategic plans 

Wave five (2018), consisted of 2,241 interviews across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Fieldwork was conducted from June to November 2018 with a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over in the combined country report. 

Main findings 

Key findings for the wave five combined England, Wales and NI report: 

  • To get an overall picture of people’s food safety behaviour, we use the Index of Recommended Practice (IRP), a composite measure of food hygiene knowledge and behaviours within the home. 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  

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

  • 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 

  • Forty seven percent 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

Note 03/05/2019: Corrections regarding consumption of ‘raw milk’, ‘cured or dried meats’ and ‘pre-cooked meats’

Responses for the question 'At the moment, how often do you eat cured and dried meats?' and 'How often do you eat raw milk?' were accidentally omitted from Section 1.3 and Tables 1.4 and 1.5 of the original wave five report. Responses to these questions have now been added to the tables and the report. The wording for the question 'At the moment, how often do you eat pre-cooked meats?' has also been corrected in Table 1.4 and Section 1.3 to reflect changes in the wording of this question introduced in wave five.

Research reports

Combined report - results tables

The results tables for chapters one to five of the combined report are available in our data catalogue.

Country comparison report - results tables

The results tables for chapters one to five of the country comparison report are available in our data catalogue.

Food provenance questions - results tables

The results tables for questions relating to how our food is produced. These questions were funded by Defra and are not included in the wave five report.

Northern Ireland report - results tables

The results tables for chapters one to five of the Northern Ireland report are available in our data catalogue.

Wales report - results tables

The results tables for chapters one to five of the Wales report are available in our data catalogue.

Background information