Money made available for training on hygiene laws
training businesses on the EU's new hygiene requirements.
The funding is part of a programme by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help local regulators and businesses understand the regulations.
The regulations make food operators right through the food chain bear primary responsibility for food safety.
The agency has created a food safety management pack to help food businesses comply with the legislation, which came into effect on 1 January this year.
Last year 22 London authorities were among the successful bidders for training grants.
They were awarded £414,000 after joining forces with training organisations in a project to provide business workshops and one-to-one coaching sessions to about 2,000 catering outlets across London.
In the North West of England, 17 local authorities collaborated in a joint application with the Northwest Food Alliance in a similar project. The Agency provided £344,500 in funding.
This year all English local authorities will be eligible to apply for funding, although priority will be given to those authorities that received no funding, or limited funding, in the first wave.
The training will focus on five new EU regulations merge, harmonise and simplify detailed and complex hygiene requirements previously contained in a number of council directives covering the hygiene of foodstuffs and the production and placing on the market of products of animal origin.
The revisions also serve to make a single hygiene policy applicable to all food and all food operators right through the supply chain "from the farm to the table". Other measures deal with procedures on food safety and on managing any future food crises throughout the supply chain.
While the package would lead to higher costs for food processors, it would also make cross-border trading in the bloc simpler for them by establishing a common set of rules. With the establishment of a common health certificate for food and feed products entering the EU, imports would also face less red tape under the new rules.
One guidance deals with the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs. A second deals with Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on the hygiene of food of animal origin.
The third deals with the required procedures based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles brought into EU law.
HACCP is a science based and systematic method of identifying specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing.
Guidance documents are available on the European Commission's website.