Cookie policy

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. food.gov.uk puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) onto your computer to collect information about how you browse the site.

Cookies are used to:

  • measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • remember the notifications you’ve seen so that we don’t show them to you again
Cookies on food.gov.uk aren’t used to identify you personally.

Find out more about how to manage cookies.

How cookies are used on food.gov.uk

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use food.gov.uk. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit
  • how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site 
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site

We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

Universal Analytics

Name: _ga
Purpose: This helps us count how many people visit food.gov.uk by tracking if you’ve visited before
Expires: 2 years

Name: _gid
Purpose: This helps us count how many people visit food.gov.uk by tracking if you’ve visited before
Expires: 2 years

Name: _gat
Purpose: Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made
Expires: 10 minutes

Google Analytics

Name: _utma
Purpose: Like _ga, this lets us know if you’ve visited before, so we can count how many of our visitors are new to food.gov.uk or to a certain page
Expires: 2 years

Name: _utmb
Purpose: This works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on food.gov.uk
Expires: 30 minutes

Name: _utmc
Purpose: This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser
Expires: when you close your browser

Name: _utmz
Purpose: This tells us how you reached food.gov.uk (for example from another website or a search engine)
Expires: 6 months

SiteImprove

Name: nmstat
Purpose: statistics about site usage such as when you last visited the site
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 1000 days after last visit

Name: siteimproveses
Purpose: Used to track the sequence of pages you look at during a visit to the site.
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: szcookiechoice
Purpose: Used to determine if you have accepted or declined cookies.
Expires: when user exits browser

Cloudflare

Name: __cfduid
Purpose: Set by the CloudFlare to identify trusted web traffic. It does not correspond to any user id in the web application, nor does the cookie store any personally identifiable information.
Expires: 5 years

Further details on cookies set by Cloudflare.

Surveymonkey

Sometimes we conduct online surveys to help us better meet our customers' needs. We use SurveyMonkey to collect responses to the survey. If you take part, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.

Name: mbox, SSOE, TS5159a2 and TSd0b041, ep201, ep202, utma, utmc and utmz    
Purpose: Online surveys on food.gov.uk.

 View SurveyMonkey's privacy policy.

Logging in to our services

Once you have logged on with username and password, so you don't have to do it for every webpage you request from our service.

Name: AUTH_TOKEN
Expires: when user exits browser

Food labelling elearning course (food.gov.uk/labellingtraining)

Name: aModulesVisited
Purpose: Used to persist a record of user progress so we can give an indication of which modules have been visited.

MyHACCP web tool (food.gov.uk/myhaccp)

Name: SESS[Unique ID]
Purpose: Allows logging in and interacting with the MyHACCP service. Essential for MyHACCP site functionality.
Expires: 23 days

Third party cookies

YouTube cookies

We use YouTube to provide videos on some pages of the site. YouTube sets cookies when you visit one of these pages.

Name: use_hitbox
Purpose: randomly generated number that identifies your browser
Expires: when you close your browser

Name: VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
Purpose: Lets Youtube count the views of embedded Youtube videos
Expires: 9 months

Further details on the cookies set by YouTube.

Facebook cookies

Name: datr
Expires: 2 years

Name: lsd
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: reg_ext_ref
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: reg_fb_gate
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: reg_fb_ref
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: wd
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: x-referer
Expires: when user exits browser

Twitter cookies

Twitter may use both session cookies and persistent cookies to improve their service including understanding user interaction, monitor aggregate usage and web traffic routing.

Name: k
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 1 week

Name: guest_id
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 1 month

Name: original_referer
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: external_referer
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 24 hrs

Name: _twitter_sess
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: when user exits browser

Name: js
Typical content: randomly generated number
Expires: 1 month

View the Twitter privacy policy