The University of Adelaide has recently released the results of the latest Food Insights Questionnaire (FoodIQ) survey about consumer reactions to food safety. The aim of the survey is to provide food regulators, health professionals and the food industry in general with information to support consumer needs.
The survey covers a range of topics associated with food safety, including; food choice values, concerns, label awareness, information source trust, and food expenditure.
The survey is actually seven waves of 1000 consumers each from across the country, with quotas for gender, age and location. The consumers must be over 18 and be the primary / joint grocery purchaser for the household.
The results show that supermarkets are the main source of fruit and vegetable. The main factors impacting purchase of any food were; price, taste, health, nutrition, country of origin and food safety.
The survey used a rating system of 1 to 7 with 7 being the highest. The confidence in the food safety of our food supply was given an average of 5.5 out of 7, and a minimum of 68 percent of those surveyed rated their confidence as at least a 3.5.
The most important food safety concerns were; imported foods, foodborne illness from bacteria / contaminants and pesticides/ pesticide residue in foods.
Country of origin of food products rated a 21 percent across all waves as the food system issue causing consumers to be “extremely concerned”, the welfare of animals and use of pesticides in food production followed at 18 percent, and use of antibiotics in food production was at 17 percent.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), doctors/medical professionals, and the Food Safety Information Council, were considered by consumers across all the waves to have the highest level of trust with regard to food safety.
The Australian consumers’ responses to food safety incidents and outbreaks can be found at https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/Pages/Social-science-reviews.aspx