Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the EIT Food, University of Reading & European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)'s online course, Trust in Our Food: Understanding Food Supply Systems. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds A safe food for me is a food that doesn’t have unnecessary chemicals on it unless it is harmless throughout the entire value chain, throughout its production. And that has nothing but pure nutrition taken from nature. And throughout the process of the making of it no one’s rights are violated, this includes like the workers and also the animals. And it should not have any detrimental effect on the environment. To me safe food has been prepared and kept in the correct conditions so that it doesn’t cause any harm to health.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds Unsafe food makes me think of food such as raw meat that’s been stored in the wrong temperature or allowed to contaminate other foods so bacteria can spread and cause food borne illnesses. I’d say that a safe food is a food that’s been checked to not be present of anything that could make you unwell, which could range from bacteria to particular chemicals to animals, as well as this I’d say, it would also be a food that has a recorded chain of production, storage, and handling. This way, anything that has possibly interfered with the food to make it unsafe can be investigated and isolated pretty quickly.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds I do feel that these things you can judge as well with your own senses, so if you are ready to cook something and it looks dodgy or it smells a bit funky, then I wouldn’t use those ingredients. And I’ll try to do that as well when I buy stuff, but sometimes you can’t always judge yet at that point because it might be in packaging and you might not be able to smell it. And expiry dates, of course, come in there as well. A safe food for me is a food that I know that I can eat and it’s going to nourish me rather than making me sick.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds Whether that’s short term with food poisoning or long term with, you know, it’s got a whole load of salt. It’s got a whole load of bad fats, it’s got a whole load of sugar that eventually is going to make me super sick. To me, food safety is pretty self-explanatory. In that it is ensuring our food is safe to eat. Whilst in the UK, I’m not aware of any fundamental, major faults in our food safety system. You do get the occasional recall or scandal in the press that can definitely shake your overall confidence somewhat. Like a pretty major example would probably be the horse meat scandal in 2013.

Skip to 2 minutes and 38 seconds Whilst I remember a lot of reporting confirming that horse meat was safe to eat, it did a real pretty unsettling breakdown in traceability of food on a continent-wide scale. I would define safe food as food that’s come from a suitable source, that has met, kind of, I guess, the appropriate guidelines to produce that food by kind of authorising bodies. I would assume that the food’s been stored and transported correctly, that it’s been stored in the supermarket correctly, and that food that I eat isn’t going to make me unwell because of all these steps.

Skip to 3 minutes and 13 seconds And I very much put the safety of food in, kind of, the hands of the supermarket and the producers because they’re the people that have produced the food and sold me the food. I also check in the supermarket that food is being refrigerated correctly. Sometimes meat packaging is swollen with gas and I would take that as a sign that the meat is starting to go off and I’d avoid that. I tend to avoid tin or jarred foods that are dented or damaged, but that doesn’t stop me buying stuff from the reduced section at all.

Your voice

In this video, you’ll meet a group of consumers and hear their thoughts on what food safety means to them, the safety aspects they take into account when buying food and their definition of a safe food.

After watching the video and hearing from our volunteers, what are the safety aspects you take into consideration when buying food? Share your thoughts in the comments area and don’t forget to ‘Like’ or ‘Reply’ if you read an interesting comment.

We would very much like to thank all the volunteers who took part in this video for allowing us to share their thoughts.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Trust in Our Food: Understanding Food Supply Systems

EIT Food

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: