Restaurant table

More people using FHRS to decide where to eat out

FSA renews call for mandatory display of hygiene ratings in England.
08 August 2019 , Katie Coyne

Consumers are increasingly using the food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS) when deciding where to eat out, according to the latest attitudes tracker from the FSA.

The results, gathered in May, from the biannual public attitudes survey showed that consumers’ use of public hygiene stickers rose to 66% compared with 60% in November 2018.

Of those surveyed, 85% said they were aware of the hygiene standards in food places they visit and buy food from. Some 59% reported noting the general appearance of the premises, with 66% using FHRS to determine hygiene standards. These were the most common methods employed by consumers.

Top food concerns were: food hygiene when eating out (31%); chemicals from the environment such as lead (30%); use of pesticides to grow food (29%); and food poisoning (28%).

The top wider food issues of concern were: food waste (51%); amount of sugar in food (49%); food prices (43%); animal welfare (43%); and levels of salt in food (39%).

Angela Towers, the FSA’s head of the food hygiene ratings team, said: “The food hygiene rating scheme gives consumers the information they need to make informed decisions about where they eat out and enables them to vote with their feet.

“We are pleased to see continuing increased use of the scheme, which further highlights a need to make the information it provides more accessible in England through mandatory display of hygiene ratings.

“This has been successful in Wales and Northern Ireland and we remain committed to seeing this introduced in England.”

Further findings:

80% felt they had enough information about what ingredients a food contains so that they were able to make their food choices
76% of people reported that they trust that food is what it says it is and is accurately labelled
76% trusted the authenticity of ingredients/origin/quality of food
41% reported concerns about food safety in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways 37% reporting concern about food safety in UK shops and supermarkets

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