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February 2, 2018

Food hygiene and sugar content among biggest consumer concerns

Food hygiene when eating out of home and sugar levels in food were two of the biggest concerns listed among consumers in the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Attitudes Tracker.

By Jasmine Lee-Zogbessou

Food hygiene when eating out of home and sugar levels in food were two of the biggest concerns listed among consumers in the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Attitudes Tracker.

The biannual report found 36% of respondents have concerns about food hygiene levels with this rising to 45% in regards to food safety concerns in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways.

84% of the 1,980 responders reported being aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat out at or buy food from. The most commonly reported ways of knowing about hygiene standards were via hygiene stickers/certificates (61%) and the general appearance of the premises (60%).

Concerns on hygiene were followed by food poisoning (30%), chemicals from the environment such as lead in food (29%), and food additives (26%) in terms of the biggest worries for diners when eating out.

The majority of respondents reported that they trust that food is what it says it is and is accurately labelled (75%) and 74% trusted the authenticity of ingredients, origin and quality of food.

Findings also demonstrated that 44% of respondents trusted that people who produce and sell food ‘have their best interests at heart’.

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Wider food issues of concern cited in the survey included sugar levels (52%), food waste (48%), food prices (46%) and animal welfare (43%).

Since it started publishing the tracker in 2015, the FSA has found that concern among consumers about sugar levels has risen more than any other area in the survey.

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