Lithuanians pay a lot of attention and are personally interested in food safety - two in 5 Lithuanians of emphasize that food safety is one of the most important criteria when choosing which products to buy. For most people in Lithuania, as well as for most EU citizens, several criteria are important when it comes to food choice - first of all price, taste, country of origin of food and, of course, food safety.
Such insights are published by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) in the latest Eurobarometer survey, published on the first ever World Food Safety Day.
World Food Safety Day gives „consumers, producers and governments a chance to focus on an issue that is often taken for granted“ according to the United Nations. The Eurobarometer survey results suggest that almost 55% of the Europeans and about 52% of Lithuanians have a high level of awareness of food safety topics, and nearly two-thirds of consumers have changed their eating habits for at least some time because of food safety information.
A survey on food safety issues in EU was carried out almost after decade and has highlighted a wide range of food safety issues that are important to EU citizens. Europeans are most concerned about the misuse of antibiotics, hormones or steroids in livestock farming (44%), pesticide residues in food (39%) or use of food additives (36%).
The majority of Lithuanians are most concern about the improper use of various food additives (preservatives, colorings, flavor enhancers, etc.) (77%), the use of genetically modified ingredients in food and drinks (70%); the influence of animal diseases on food safety (73%). Over 60% of Lithuanian respondents also identified food safety issues such as residues of antibiotics, hormonal substances, pesticides or environmental contaminants in food, poor food hygiene, bacterial contamination of food, or food or beverages causing allergic reactions.
In Europe, scientists (82% in the EU, 84% in the LT), consumer organizations (79% in the EU, 66% in the LT) and local farmers (64-69%) gain the highest levels of trust among Europeans when it comes to information on food risks. Europeans and Lithuanians also rely on EU and national authorities (approx. 50-60%). TV and the Internet, with the exception of social media, have been identified by most EU citizens as the main source of information on food safety. However, many rely on information read in newspapers or magazines, or on knowledge heard from family members, friends or neighbors.
Based on information of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).