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FSA News Item, 17 October 2016
Our purpose is to make sure that people have safe food, food they can trust, and that it is what it says it is. We need to change the way food is regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so we can be confident this stays the case for the food people buy and eat.
Business innovation has outstripped the way regulation has always been done and we need to keep pace with this new world to stop people being put at risk. We want businesses to take proper responsibility for food safety and local authority resources to be properly used.
Safety will always be at the heart of what we decide to do. We are proposing a model that continues to use inspections and visits alongside the information we can gain from business’s data and accredited third party audits to ensure that food safety and authenticity are top of a food business’s mind every day – not just on inspection day.
We’ve started a three month trial to compare the vast amounts of data held by food businesses with the data that local authorities collect from inspections to see if it can be used to provide assurance that they are doing the right things for consumers. This is part of us setting the standard to create a new, more comprehensive and transparent system of business assurance.
Additional information is provided on the main FSA ‘Regulating our Future’ page copied here. See https://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/about-the-fsa/regulating-our-future for the actual page.
The achievement of the FSA’s strategic goal of ‘Food We Can Trust’ will require a fundamental redesign of the FSA’s regulatory role and of the way in which regulation is delivered for the benefit of consumers.
In a changing and uncertain world how can we make sure food is both safe and what it says it is?
We live in challenging times. There’s more demand for food, increasing pressure on resources, uncertain production due to climate change and an increasing number of new food suppliers.
These changes affect us all and make us think about how we regulate food businesses to guarantee people continue to have food they can trust.
For many years we’ve had an inspection model that includes sending local authority inspectors to look at how businesses are providing assurance to consumers in relation to food standards and hygiene. We believe this is a resource intensive way to maintain confidence that food is safe and what it says it is and we believe there are other options also worth exploring as a means of ensuring consumer protection.
We want to change the way the FSA and local authorities regulate food businesses and ensure we protect people for the future in a modern, global food system.
What will the new model for regulation look like?
The new model will move away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to regulation. We understand that food businesses come in many different shapes and sizes. We are proposing having a regulatory framework that can be adapted according to different types of food businesses.
For example, many big businesses have robust auditing and sampling regimes in place to ensure the food they provide to consumers is safe and what it says it is. We want to make the most of this data and use it to inform our approach, rather than overlooking this valuable resource.
(For the original larger pdf version of this image, see: Future Model - Overarching View)
Help us - we want your views and ideas
We are still in the process of working up the details of our new regulatory model and how it will work. However, what is clear is that we want local authorities, businesses and consumers to be involved in the design of this new model for ensuring food is safe and what it says it is.
We want to listen to the views of those with an interest in food standards and safety and to capture the insights and knowledge that already exists in an open and transparent way. We want to hear the ideas, concerns and thoughts of all those with an interest. This open approach will mean we can design the most effective regulatory model for a modern and global food system.
You can contribute to the discussion by joining the conversation #foodregulation or email directly: FutureDelivery@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk