Consumers anxious about their diets

Consumers are most concerned about the amount of salt, fat and sugar in their foods according to the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) latest tracker survey.

The report from the body, which has just had its remit changed to purely focus on food safety issues, revealed consumers are more concerned about their diets than the possibility of food poisoning.

The FSA says: “Concern about food safety issues has shown a significant decrease this wave, from 70% to 59%, with the main food issues of total concern for respondents being the amount of salt in food (44%), food poisoning (43%) and the amount of fat in food (41%).”

The survey, which was conducted in March, comes as the government removed nutrition policy and labelling from the FSA’s remit.

Instead, the Department of Health (DH) will become responsible for nutrition policy in England, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will become responsible for Country of Origin Labelling, and various other non-safety-related food labelling and food composition policies in England.

However, in a sign of hope for the agency, results show that awareness of the Food Standards Agency, when prompted, has remained stable at 79% since the survey was last carried out in December 2009, and confidence in the agency has remained at a similar level (currently at 63%).

Awareness of hygiene standards in eating establishments remains unchanged from the last survey at 83%. Of this 83%, the general appearance of the premises (73%), the appearance of staff (59%) and the reputation of the business (50%) were all identified as factors that encouraged their awareness of hygiene standards.

The report surveyed 2,111 adults in the UK and was conducted by TNS.

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