Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA News Item, 3 December 2010

ENFORCEMENT - Agency announces review of official controls delivery

The Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency Tim Smith has today announced a review of how food safety regulations are enforced in the UK.

Speaking at a conference on food safety, organised by the FSA and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Tim Smith said the FSA was looking for new ways of making the system of enforcing food safety regulations more efficient. Any new approach, he added, would have to offer the best protection for consumers.

Tim Smith said: ‘The Food Standards Agency is responsible for the controls on food in the UK, but the enforcement is currently done in different ways: by employees of the FSA, by other government departments, by contractors and by local authorities. This system can be complex and in the current climate of increased financial pressures it is timely to consider how we can secure better efficiency, consistency, and resilience in this vital area of public health protection. Our goal will be to ensure that the system we have in place is the best way of protecting consumers.

 ‘This review follows a request by the First Minister for Wales asking the Agency to carry out a review of food law enforcement in Wales. He asked if consumers in Wales are adequately protected and wanted us to evaluate other possible models of delivering food law enforcement. Today I’m proposing we should build on the work that the FSA in Wales is already doing and extend our evaluation to the whole of the UK.’

The review will see the Agency working closely with the food industry, local authorities, and professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in considering alternative approaches to enforcement that will offer the best protection for consumers. The review will cover all four countries of the UK.

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