Fears over the spread of swine flu have not put most consumers off buying pork, new figures reveal.

An exclusive YouGov survey for The Grocer shows that only 1% of shoppers have stopped buying the meat since the outbreak, and just 2% said they were buying less pork. The vast majority (78%) have not changed their purchasing habits, while 1% even claimed to be buying more.

There had been fears that shoppers might wrongly associate swine flu with pigs and stop buying pork.

But the YouGov survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 73% did not believe swine flu could be transmitted through pig meat products, 24% did not know if it could, and 3% thought it could.

Pork sales had been unaffected by swine flu, confirmed a spokesman for the Agri­culture and Horti­culture Development Board. UK pork industry bodies refused to comment publicly on the issue, but privately applauded the reaction of the government and shoppers.

"British consumers are not stupid," said one senior industry figure. "They know the difference between human and animal diseases. These figures are not surprising."

Retailers have also been praised for their reaction to the situation.

"Supermarkets could have taken it as an opportunity to go to suppliers and get the pork price down, but they've not done that," said one source.

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