FSA to review official UK food controls

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food standards agency

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to review an overhaul of the current UK food control system in order to improve food safety and consumer protection.

Tim Smith, chief executive of FSA said: “In the current climate of increased financial pressures it is timely to consider how best to secure efficiency, consistency, resilience and sustainability in this fundamental public health protection function.”

“We will be considering alternative models to explore which approach will offer the best protection for consumers,”​ he added.

Complexity of current system

A spokesperson from FSA told FoodProductionDaily.com that the main issue to overcome in the current system was complexity, due to the range of different approaches that were being used. He said FSA was aiming to improve consistency in certain areas.

Although the agency is responsible for the controls on food in the UK, these controls are currently delivered through a variety of different bodies: FSA employees, other government departments, contractors and local authorities.

January meeting

The spokesperson said that it was too early to outline any possible alternatives to the system and that this would be discussed at the open meeting with the FSA Board in January 2011.

The board will review the evidence on the effectiveness of the current system and will then make a formal decision on how to proceed with this review.

The spokesperson said that if they agree, the FSA chiefs will then need to consult with the relevant groups, such as stakeholders, food business operators and consumer groups.

“The review would need to take full account of the issues raised and views expressed in all four countries of the UK,”​ said Smith.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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