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Half Consumers Change Buying Habits for Financial Reasons

30 December 2014

UK - A survey of consumer food and food safety habits in England has shown that just over half have changed their food buying habits in the last six months for financial reasons.

The survey, the third phase of the Food Standard Agency Food and You survey, provides information on reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food issues in 2014.

The Food and You survey is published once every two years.

In this phase of the survey 3,453 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over across the UK. In total 1,951 interviews were conducted in England.

Overall, 53 per cent of respondents said that they had made at least one change in their buying or eating arrangements in the last six months for financial reasons.

In the last survey the figure was 62 per cent.

Almost half of respondents who had a fridge (47 per cent) reported never checking their fridge temperature.

Half (50 per cent) of respondents who reported storing raw meat and poultry in the fridge reported practices in line with those recommended to avoid cross contamination.

In all 65 per cent of respondents recognised the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and 20 per cent reported using a scheme to check the hygiene rating of an establishment before choosing to eat there.

Regional differences were also identified:

  • Respondents living in London and the North East were less likely to report always using different chopping boards for different foods (reported by 34 per cent of respondents in each region), than those in all other regions (50 per cent to 60 per cent).
  • Those living in the North West (63 per cent) and West Midlands (60 per cent) were more likely to report behaviour in line with recommended practice for storing meat in their fridge, than those in London (45 per cent), the North East (43 per cent), East (46 per cent) and South East (43 per cent).
  • Respondents living in the North East were more likely to say that cleanliness and hygiene were the most important factor to them when choosing where to eat out (48 per cent) compared with those in the North West (31 per cent), London (29 per cent), the South East (31 per cent) and the South West (29 per cent).
  • Respondents living in London were more likely to report using a food hygiene rating scheme in the last 12 months (23 per cent) along with respondents in the North East (29 per cent), North West (22 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (24 per cent), compared with those in the South East (14 per cent).

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