FSA News Item, 8 March 2012
Extending the availability of Remedial Action Notices (RANs) for use in all food businesses in England has been delayed. The Food Standards Agency has today written to local authorities notifying them of the delay.
Currently RANs may only be used in certain food premises, such as abattoirs and other approved premises. They are used to tackle immediate problems with hygiene in a proportionate and effective way without enforcement officers or businesses having to attend the courts. The FSA plans to extend their use to all food businesses.
The process of taking the RANs extension through government committees is taking longer than expected, and this means that the England extension will not be introduced in April 2012 as planned. The FSA still aims to introduce the England extension before to the beginning of the Olympic Games in July 2012.
The extension of RANs will be introduced in Scotland on 1 April, Northern Ireland on 6 April and Wales on 1 May, as planned.
The following is the text of the letter sent to Local Authorities which gives a bit more information:
Letter to Local Authorities (ENF/E/12/009), 8 March 2012
THE EXTENSION OF REMEDIAL ACTION NOTICES TO ALL FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
At its meeting in September 2011 [See Link], the FSA Board agreed to extend Remedial Action Notices (RANs) to all UK food establishments from April 2012. I am writing to inform you of a delay in implementation in England, and update you on progress in the other UK countries.
As you know, RANs are an effective and proportionate power for controlling certain non-compliances but are currently only available for use in approved establishments. The proposal agreed at the FSA Board is to extend the availability of RANs to all food establishments, and introduce a compensation clause to provide businesses with recompense in the unlikely event of misuse [See Link].
In order to extend RANs to all food establishments, an amendment is needed to the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 and the Food Law Code of Practice. Such regulatory amendments are subject in England to review by the Westminster government’s regulatory committees (The Regulatory Policy Committee and the Reducing Regulation Committee). These committees consider whether proposed regulations are in line with wider government policy, will be effective in meeting their policy objective, and have been costed accurately.
The process of taking the RANs extension through the Westminster government’s committees is taking longer than expected, and this means that the England extension will not be introduced in April 2012 as planned. We do not have an alternative coming into force date at present, but, subject to further views from the committees, we still aim to introduce the England extension prior to the commencement of the Olympic Games in July 2012.
This delay will not affect the extension of RANs in the other UK countries. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are subject to different legislative processes to England and, subject to those processes, the extension of RANs will take effect on the following dates:
I will write to you with further information about the England extension in due course.