Consumer Focused Review of Fruit and Vegetables
This review provides an update on the fruit and vegetable review conducted in 2007. It collates and considers the information available – academic, regulatory, public health – on the health and food safety implications of fruit and vegetables.
It focuses on ready-to-eat (RTE) fresh fruit and vegetables which are consumed raw, whether whole or prepared, and includes products packaged under vacuum or in a modified atmosphere that have not undergone any treatment (chemical, physical or biological) to ensure preservation, other than chilling.
The key finding was that 75% of Irish consumers are now able to identify that they should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but only a third (36%) of consumers say they are doing so. The average intake of fruit and vegetables is currently less than half that recommended, at 2.4 portions per day. Issues to do with cost, shelf life, preparation time and habit were seen by consumers as barriers to buying and consuming more fruit and vegetables.