Food Standards Agency survey highlights sugar fears

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Sugar was highlighted as the number one food issue in the UK
Sugar was highlighted as the number one food issue in the UK

Related tags Food Food standards agency

Consumer fears about sugar content have been flagged up in the latest Food Standards Agency (FSA) shopper survey.

The FSA’s Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker quizzed 1,989 adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on their attitudes towards food safety issues in the UK.

Sugar emerged as a major concern to respondents, with just over half saying they were worried about the amount of sugar in their food.

The issue replaced food price (46% of respondents) as the number one food issue of concern for the first time since the survey began in 2010, up 15%. Also identified as concerns were food waste (48%) and animal welfare (43%).

Food poisoning

Food poisoning was a concern to three in 10 respondents, while chemicals from the environment – such as lead – in food were highlighted by a similar proportion. Just over a quarter said food additives were a major concern.

Just over a third of respondents identified food hygiene when eating out as a food safety issue they worried about.

The report also gauged the public’s attitude towards the FSA. It found more than three-quarters of respondents were aware of the FSA, while seven in 10 who said they were aware trusted the agency to do its job.

Respondents were also asked about their attitudes towards food production, sales and labelling.

Attitudes towards food production

Three-quarters of consumers said they trusted that food was labelled accurately, while almost the same number trusted the authenticity of ingredients, as well as the origin and quality of food.

Findings also demonstrated that 44% of respondents trusted that people who produced and sold food had their best interests at heart.

To read the full report, click here.

Meanwhile, virtually three-quarters of food and drink firms said they planned to improve food safety in their businesses​, as they revealed the challenges of providing effective training for their staff, according to a Campden BRI survey.

The FSA’s Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker – at a glance

The top food safety issues of concern for respondents were:

  • Food hygiene when eating out (36%)
  • Food poisoning (30%)
  • Chemicals from the environment, such as lead, in food (29%)
  • Food additives (26%)

The top wider food issues of concern were:

  • The amount of sugar in food (52%)
  • Food waste (48%)
  • Food prices (46%)
  • Animal welfare (43%)

Related topics Food Safety

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