Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA News Item, 25 November 2010

ENFORCEMENT - Agency welcomes recommendations arising from Mason Jones inquest

The Food Standards Agency has welcomed recommendations made by the coroner at the inquest into the tragic death of Mason Jones, the five-year-old boy who died in the E.coli outbreak in south Wales in 2005. The coroner has recommended stronger enforcement of food hygiene laws.

About 160 people became ill in the 2005 outbreak. As a result, William John Tudor of John Tudor & Son, Bridgend, was jailed for a year at Cardiff Crown Court after pleading guilty to seven offences relating to the supply of meat contaminated with E.coli O157 to schools.

Welcoming the recommendations made by the coroner, Steve Wearne, Director of the FSA in Wales, said: ‘We are determined to ensure that lessons are learned from the tragic death of Mason Jones. We have provided guidance to local authorities that aims to ensure that each intervention in a food business – whether advice, inspection or enforcement – moves it towards full compliance with the law.

 ‘We will shortly issue a public consultation on extending the use of Remedial Action Notices to all food premises. These notices would allow local authority enforcement officers to require a process or activity in a food business that poses a significant risk to human health to be stopped immediately, and would not allow it to recommence until specified action to reduce the risk had been taken.’

These changes are aimed a strengthening existing enforcement powers. Current measures such as the Hygiene Prohibition Notice can be used to take immediate action where any activity presents a health risk; Remedial Action Notices will be an additional way of compelling businesses to take corrective action.

The Agency also says a Food Hygiene Delivery Programme has been established to prioritise, direct and measure progress in an ambitious and comprehensive programme of work to improve food hygiene delivery and enforcement across the UK. It was set up to drive forward actions to respond to the recommendations of the Public Inquiry, and is chaired by the FSA Director of Operations.

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