43% of respondents to the Food Standard Agency’s biennial ‘Food and You’ survey made at least one change in their buying or eating habits in the last 12 months for financial reasons, reveal responses to one of the 5 additional questions that give a new flavour to the 4th biennial survey of self-reported public attitudes to, and knowledge of, food-related issues.

Other new questions that broadened the scope of ‘The ‘Food and You’ survey Wave 4 (2016)’ concerned food allergy and intolerance, food security, food authenticity and awareness and concerns about chemicals in food.

Used by the FSA to inform its policies and work with consumers, the ‘Food and You’ survey covers purchasing, storage, preparation and consumption, together with the factors that may affect them.

Other findings include

1) 86% of people reported always washing their hands before preparing or cooking food, while 87% did so before handling raw meat, poultry or fish.

2) The FSA recommends the use-by date is the best indicator of whether food is safe to eat – and 75% of respondents took their advice.

3) However, 58% of respondents said they defrosted meat or fish by leaving it at room temperature which is not the FSA-recommended way.

Unlike the previous three surveys which covered the entire UK, Wave 4 covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland only. It will be complemented by individual country reports for Wales and Northern Ireland scheduled for publication on 20 April.