Food Law News - UK - 2011

FSA News Item, 24 May 2011

INCIDENTS – Annual Incidents report for 2010 published

A copy of the report is available on this site. See: Incidents Report 2010

The FSA today publishes its 'Annual Report of Incidents 2010'. The report includes case studies of some of the 1,505 incidents we handled during 2010, and which contributed to our overall strategic objective of safer food for the nation.

The report, which can be found via the link below, also outlines future challenges, such as working to ensure food at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics venues is safe to eat.

Incidents of varying complexity and natureIn 2010, there were nearly 300 more incidents than in 2009. The incidents included food fraud investigations and the subsequent seizures of illicit alcohol, some of which contained high levels of potentially harmful methanol, a Salmonella Bareilly outbreak associated with bean sprouts, and amnesic shellfish poisoning in whole King Scallops. More information about the action taken to protect consumers is given in the report.

The report also gives a breakdown of incidents by category, with the major categories being: environmental contamination (23% of incidents), microbiological (18%), natural chemical contamination (15%) and on-farm incidents (8%).

Improving the way we work

We’re always looking to improve the way we work, and during 2010 we refined our food alert system, carried out incident reviews and exercises, and provided local authority training workshops to improve incident handling and partnership working.

Product recalls and withdrawals

Action taken by the Agency in 2010 included the issuing of 70 product recall and withdrawal notifications, of which 34 were Allergy Alerts. These notifications give consumers and enforcement officers the information they need directly by email or SMS text message, as well as online.

What is an incident?

The Agency uses the following definition of an incident:

'Any event where, based on the information available, there are concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food that could require intervention to protect consumers’ interests.'

Incidents fall broadly into two categories:

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