The European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) has provided fresh evidence to support its 2019 Eurobarometer report that focused on food safety and consumers’ attitudes to food.

The updated survey draws figures from five new EU pre-accession countries including Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

The report found that the most important factors for Europeans when buying food are where the food comes from (53%), cost (51%), food safety (50%) and taste (49%). Nutrient content is considered slightly less important (44%), while ethics and beliefs (e.g. animal welfare, environmental concerns or religion) rank lowest in importance (19%).

Barbara Gallani, head of EFSA’s communication, engagement and cooperation department, said: “I am very pleased that, for the first time, we were able to generate this additional evidence.

“Our cooperation with pre-accession countries has been growing over the years and the completion of this survey marks another important milestone. It is of great value to have insights on food safety perceptions from five additional countries.”

Other findings from the study included how Europeans use television as their primary source of information on food risks, and how two thirds of citizens have changed their consumption behaviour as a result of information on food risks.