Irish buying fewer frozen burgers after horsemeat scandal

The Scandal changed Irish food purchasing habits

More than half of Irish consumers have cut back on buying frozen burgers since the horsemeat scandal, and 42% now buy less meat-based processed food such as lasagne and shepherd’s pie, new research by Ireland’s food watchdog has suggested.

Although purchasing behaviour for fresh burgers had stayed largely the same, 51% of consumers said they now bought fewer frozen burgers as a result of the scandal, first uncovered in frozen burgers made in Ireland in mid-January.

The consumer survey commissioned by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) also found the scandal had resulted in heightened consumer awareness of food safety and quality issues.

Forty-five per cent of Irish consumers said they now spent more time reading labels on food products, 53% said they had become more conscious of ingredients in processed foods, and 56% claimed to have become more conscious of products’ provenance.

However, the FSAI’s survey suggests consumers are confident in the Irish government’s ability to deal with food crises, with 72% saying they had confidence in Irish food safety controls and regulations.