Two decades after some of the biggest food scares which rocked the nation, from salmonella outbreaks to BSE, 8 out of 10 adults (76%) admit to taking food safety for granted according to new research from YouGov commissioned by the Red Tractor Food Assurance Scheme.
The survey of more than 2000 UK adults looked at people's concerns about the food they buy and how their confidence in UK produced food has been restored.
Research reveals a difference in the levels of trust between supermarkets and restaurants. 71 per cent UK adults are confident that the food they buy from a supermarket has been produced to high standards and that they know where it comes from; compared to only half of people who feel confident about standards and traceability when eating out at a restaurant or café.
People are most worried about what could have a direct negative impact on their health. Of all the high profile food crises over the years the one that has made people the most concerned is BSE with 72 per cent of Brits admitting to being fairly or very concerned. The numbers increased significantly to 83 per cent for those aged 55+. In areas like the North East of England with a prominent farming community it was found to be even higher at 85 per cent.
Jim Moseley, CEO, Red Tractor Assurance said; "If people are now taking food safety for granted, then it demonstrates that we've been doing something right."
"Red Tractor was created almost two decades ago, after a spate of food scares and confidence in British food and farming was at a low."
"Success in driving up British food standards must not be undermined by a potential influx of imported food produced to standards that are currently deemed illegal in this country, should we be faced with a no-deal Brexit. There's no more important time for people to recognise that not all food is produced to the same rigorous standards as the UK."
Having world leading food production standards has helped safeguard the UK from outbreaks and food contamination incidences that have been seen in other countries, including last year's e-coli outbreak in Romaine lettuce in the USA. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 17% of people in the USA suffer from food-borne illnesses each year compared with just 1.5% in the UK.