Whilst almost seven in ten (68%) of the over 60s had heard of Listeria, far less were able to identify the types of foods it is found in (38% were able to state at least one example). Few were aware of the specific effects of food poisoning from Listeria, for example only 5% mentioned flu-like symptoms, rather they tended to mention symptoms associated with food poisoning more generally such as diarrhoea (50%) and vomiting (49%).
On prompting, 65% were able to identify at least one key action in preventing food poisoning from Listeria, however the most frequently selected actions were again those associated with food poisoning generally (washing hands 79% and cooking food thoroughly 68%). Half (51%) of respondents were able to correctly state the temperature a fridge should be kept at is between 0 and 5oC.
45% stated that how food smells is the best way to tell if it is safe, whilst only 13% mentioned the use-by date here. 35% regularly (at least once a month) check the temperature of their fridge.
Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.