Food Law News - UK - 2011

FSA Consultation letter, 24 January 2011

ENFORCEMENT - Proposal to amend the frequency of certain official control inspections for on-farm dairy hygiene (England and Wales)

A copy of the full consultation document is available on this site. See: Dairy Hygiene inspections - Consultation

A proposal to amend the frequency of certain official controls for on-farm dairy hygiene. Responses are requested by: 14 March 2011


Who will this consultation be of most interest to?

What is the subject of this consultation?

What is the purpose of this consultation?

Consultation details

This consultation sets out proposals to reduce the burden of official controls on dairy farms in England and Wales by recognising audits carried out by Assured Dairy Farms (ADF) and maintaining consumer protection.

The Agency recognises the need for proportionate regulation that minimises the burden on industry while retaining the necessary level of public health protection. Earlier last year, the Agency carried out a public consultation on limited recognition of assurance for on-farm dairy hygiene provided by the Assured Dairy Farms (ADF) scheme (see link below). Some consultees were concerned that the Agency had not gone as far as it could in recognising assurance on hygienic conditions provided by the ADF routine on-farm audits.

Since the previous consultation, the Agency has carried out a UK-wide review of official controls for dairy hygiene and is prompted by the findings to propose the further measures outlined in this consultation.

Proposals: Key proposals:

The proposed options for official controls:

The options that have been considered are fully detailed in the Impact Assessment at Annex B. In brief, they are:

Option 3 is the preferred option as it ensures a consistent and proportionate risk-based approach for setting inspection frequencies on dairy farms. It also continues to protect public health while recognising the expertise of current delivery partners and assurance provided by the ADF scheme.

Implementation and review of the arrangements:

Following public consultation, and subject to responses received, we intend to introduce the changes from 1 April 2011.

Once the new system is established, the annual official inspection at 10% of dairy farms with ADF membership, will provide an ongoing assurance stream that ADF audits are carried out with adequate rigour in respect of dairy hygiene.

A full evaluation will be undertaken once the changes have been in place for at least four years to ensure that public health protection is maintained.

Consultation Process:

In advance of this formal public consultation the Agency has held informal pre-consultation discussions with the following stakeholders, which are key to the successful implementation of the proposals:

The Food Standards Agency welcomes comments from all stakeholders. Please send your response by email or post using the contact details given. All responses received as part of this consultation will be given careful consideration; they will be summarised and published on the Agency's website in due course.

Questions asked in this consultation:


Responses are required by close Monday 14 March 2011. Please state in your response whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company (including details of any stakeholders your organisation represents).

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