The British take a more measured approach to possible food safety risks than their neighbors on the European continent, a new European Union food survey found.

The food survey, carried out by the European Food Safety Authority, asked about 27,000 consumers across the EU a range of questions relating to the possible risks associated with food.

Respondents were asked how worried they were about certain perceived food risks such as pesticides, food poisoning, and hormones in meat. 

British respondents were less worried about all of these perceived risks than their European counterparts but were most concerned about the welfare of farmed animals and the quality and freshness of food.

United Kingdom respondents said they were more worried about the economic crises negatively affecting their lives than whether the food they eat could possibly damage their health.

Only 29 percent of UK respondents thought that food could possibly damage their health, as opposed to 48 percent in the rest of the EU. 

UK consumers were also less likely to permanently change their eating habits after hearing that a type of food was unsafe following media stories (only 7 percent in the UK compared to 11 percent  in Europe).

‘I’m delighted that we Brits keep our stiff upper lip when faced with food scares and have a positive attitude to what we eat, said Andrew Wadge, chief scientist at the UK’s Food Standards Agency.   “I think we’re right not to worry unnecessarily about food safety threats as there are lots of checks in place to keep food safe. “

“On the other hand it’s important not to be complacent, and there are simple steps people can take to prevent food poisoning such as not eating food past its use-by date, not washing poultry – as the bacteria can spread round the kitchen – and always making sure that they cook food thoroughly,” he added.