Earlier this week, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) published its Annual Science Report, as well as a report titled, "Eating Safe and Well," which analyzes the results of the FSA's biennial Food and You survey of public attitudes and behaviors toward food and nutrition.

The Annual Science Report, which provides information about the FSA's investment in science, evidence and analysis during 2013-14, covers a range of topics including:

  • FSA's efforts to reduce foodborne disease
  • the Agency's work on food allergy and intolerance
  • activities following the horse meat incident
  • the outcome of the review of FSA's radioactivity in food monitoring program

According to an FSA news update, Guy Poppy, FSA chief scientific adviser, said: "Science really is at the heart of the FSA. This report highlights the work of the Agency over the past 12 months and really shows the breadth of the important work carried out to protect consumers’ interests in relation to food."

The Annual Science Report (1.52 MB) may be downloaded here.

Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors

Data from the FSA's Food and You biennial survey about people’s attitudes and behavior suggest that there are links between food safety and nutrition practices, according to an FSA news update.

As explained in the FSA report, "Eating Safe and Well," relationships were observed between:

  • Knowledge of healthy eating recommendations (specifically the ‘5 a day’ message about the recommended five portions of fruit and veg the each person should eat every day) and the extent to which reported food safety behaviors are in line with recommended practice (this refers to the safe storage and hygienic handling of food).
  • Knowledge of the eatwell plate (this highlights the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a well-balanced and healthy diet) and the extent to which reported food safety behaviors are in line with recommended practice.

The survey results also suggest that those who perceived their diet as healthy were more likely to report behaviors in line with recommended practice, as were those with less complacent views on healthy eating.

The implications of the findings are discussed in the report (1.13 MB), which may be downloaded here.