Research finds a rise in people affected by food poisoning in UK

A recent survey by the Food Standards Agency’s  titled “Food and You” found that 47% of people reported getting sick from food at some time in their life is up from between 40% in 2012, 41% in 2014 and 44% in 2016. This study covered the topics of food poisoning, hygiene in the home and shopping habits.


The self-reported public rise is not backed up by statistics from Public Health England, which covers England and Wales. The latest notifications of infectious diseases (NOIDs) weekly report, which includes data through April 21 this year, shows food poisoning is declining. In all of 2018, there were 11,000 food poisoning infections recorded compared with 11,424 in 2017.

While the figures contrast it is interesting to consider the human perception rates of foodborne illness and official statistics. Of course there are a number of elements to a person self-reporting illness from food even if not confirmed as foodborne illness but the perception of source even if it is not justified can have an impact on attitudes and business reputation.


The Food Standards Agency study found 43% of respondents, who had been ill, said they took no action. Of those who did, 33% said they stopped eating at certain sites; 16% said they stopped eating certain foods; and 9% said they tried to get more information about the issue.


This is just one study which highlights the importance of food safety training and the perception of cleanliness and safe food practices for a business. Food safety training and good hygiene practices enables businesses to provide knowledge to employees to minimise contamination when handling food products and help their establishment uphold a suitable food safety management system.


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