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Research project

Food and You - Wave Two

Food and You is a biennial survey exploring the public’s attitudes, reported knowledge and behaviour relating to food safety and production.

Last updated: 25 April 2018
Last updated: 25 April 2018

Wave 2 of the survey was carried out in 2012. The UK report was published in March 2013. The Northern Ireland and Scotland reports, which include more detailed analysis and findings on healthy eating, were published in June 2013. TNS-BMRB, the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) and the University of Westminster carried out Wave 2 of Food and You on behalf of the Food Standards Agency.

The survey consisted of 3,231 interviews among a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over (with no upper age limit) across the UK. Samples in Scotland and Northern Ireland were boosted to enable more detailed analysis at a country level. Fieldwork was carried out between late March and early September 2012.

Food and You is compliant with the Government Social Research (GSR) Code of Practice. Compliant reports are published with the GSR logo.

The key findings on food safety are:

  • older respondents (aged 75+) were more than twice as likely to report food safety practices that were not in line with FSA guidance compared to younger respondents (aged 35-44)
  • male respondents were 1.5 times as likely to report food safety practices that were not in line with FSA guidance, compared to female respondents
  • the majority of respondents reported domestic food safety practices that were in line with Agency guidance. This was especially the case for cleaning and cooking practices and least likely to be the case for chilling practices
  • compared to Wave 1, a greater proportion of respondents in Wave 2 reported that, in line with recommended practice, they never wash raw meat and poultry (32% compared to 26% in Wave 1) and that the fridge temperature should be between 0-5˚C (53% compared to 46% in Wave 1)
  • two-thirds (64%) of respondents said that ‘use by’ dates were the best indicator of whether food was safe to eat. Other commonly reported indicators were how food smells and how it looks.
  • almost three-quarters (72%) reported being concerned about food poisoning and over two-thirds (69%) of respondents said that cleanliness and hygiene was a consideration when deciding where to eat out.
  • a third (34%) of respondents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reported having seen a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) certificate and/or sticker. Forty-four per cent of respondents in Scotland, reported having seen a Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) before.

Research reports

Northern Ireland