It also found that more than 90% of adults in Northern Ireland don’t know how much salt they should be eating every day; that 88% of women report always washing their hands before preparing food, compared with 75% of men; and 53% of people never check their fridge is at the right temperature.
‘Food and You’, which looks at how we buy, store and prepare food – as well as where we choose to eat out and our experiences of food poisoning – is carried out across the UK every two years, with regional statistics compiled for Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The survey is used to collect information about people’s reported behaviours, attitude and knowledge around food issues.
Dr Susanne Boyd, Science and Knowledge Manager at the FSA in NI, said: 'These key findings for Northern Ireland are published under six different heading – eating, cooking and shopping; food safety in the home; eating outside the home; experience of food poisoning; attitudes towards food safety and food production; and advice on healthy eating.
‘This is third time we have carried out the Food and You survey in Northern Ireland; the two previous waves were in 2012 and 2010, which allows us to compare this year’s data against them. All have involved representative samples of respondents living here.’
Other findings include:
- Food Safety in the home: while 62% of respondents who had a fridge knew that the temperature should be at the recommended level of between 0 and 50C, only 10% of respondents reported checking that it was at the right temperature on at least a monthly basis using a thermometer. And more than half of respondents who had a fridge (53%) reported never checking the temperature!
- Food poisoning and attitudes towards safety and production: more than half of people interviewed agreed that you are more likely to get food poisoning if you eat out a lot (53%); and more than three quarters of those surveyed (77 %) felt they were unlikely to get food poisoning from food prepared in their own homes.
- Advice on healthy eating: only 7% of respondents reported that the recommended daily intake of salt for an adult was 6g – an amount that is in line with FSA recommendations.
- Food Safety in the home: a large proportion (77%) of those surveyed have cleaning practices in line with FSA recommendations – saying they always washed their hands before starting to prepare or cook food and after handling raw meat, poultry or fish.
More about the survey
In Wave 1 (2010), 11% of respondents said the cost of food was the most common problem in eating healthily. In Wave 2 (2012), this figure rose to 22%; and to 32% in Wave 3 (2014).
The Northern Ireland results of the Food and You Survey, carried out on behalf of the FSA by TNS-BMRB, can be found at www.food.gov.uk/food-and-you. The UK-wide Food and You Survey results were published on 21 October 2014, with regional results published today, 16 December 2014.
Wave 3 consisted of 3,453 interviews with a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over across the UK, including 524 interviews in Northern Ireland.