Consumers have rated food hygiene in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways as their primary concern when it comes to food safety issues, according to new research by the FSA.
In its Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker for November 2013, almost half (49%) of respondents put it at the top of their list of worries, although concern has decreased three percentage points from 52% when the survey was last carried out in May 2013.
More than four-fifths of respondents (82%) said they were aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat out at or buy food from, with 40% reporting hygiene certificates and 25% citing hygiene stickers as ways of knowing about standards.
Awareness of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) has increased, according to the report, with more than a third (37%) of respondents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland being aware of the initiative compared to 21-34%, between November 2011 and May 2013.
The research revealed the use of additives in food (36%) as being consumers’ second biggest concern, followed by food poisoning (26%).
Meanwhile, when asked about wider food issues, the top three areas of concern were food prices (60%), food waste (50%), and the amount of salt in food (44%).
The research took place in November and sampled 2,509 UK adults.