A new global study of worry and risk – the first-ever Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll– has revealed the global state of food and water safety. 

The poll revealed that 60 per cent of people worldwide say they are worried about the food they eat and 51 per cent are concerned about the safety of the water they drink.

In addition, the poll also found that 17 per cent of respondents (equivalent to one billion people worldwide) have suffered significant harm from the food they ate in the two years prior to polling,and almost as many, 14 per cent (823 million), have been seriously harmed by the water they drink. 

With around 10 per cent of its respondents reporting serious harm in the last two years, the UK ranks 126 out of 142 for the experience of serious harm from eating food – placing Britain among the top 20 countries in the world for food safety. 

The poll was conducted by Gallup as part of its World Poll, with over 150,000 interviews completed in 142 countries. The World Risk Poll intends to transform our understanding of worry and wellbeing to pinpoint how people across the globe perceive and experience risks, to ultimately engineer a safer world. 

Markus Lipp from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, said: “The World Risk Poll gives us the first ever global view of people’s attitudes and awareness of the risks posed by unfit food and drink.  By understanding how people view food safety risks, what they worry about and what they never consider, we can create interventions that are relatable and practical so people can act in their interests and keep safe and healthy.”