FSA’s ‘evolutionary thinking’ endorsed by IFST

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/AlanTaylor
©iStock/AlanTaylor

Related tags: Food standards agency, Management, Uk food standards agency

The Institute of Food Science and Technology have given their backing to the Food Standards Agency’s ‘risk management framework’ recognising its ‘evolutionary thinking’ in enforcing food laws.

The framework, launched at the end of July, is a response by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) in better assessing the risk presented by a business.

The FSA’s approach uses a range of indicators and data, including information gathered at the point of registration, to improve standards and cut the administrative burden.

In a statement, The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) said it “supports the FSA’s focus on using of data and technology to inform and intervene on food safety and authenticity risks.

“IFST also supports the use of risk based food safety management to more effectively and efficiently target and manage those risks that are the highest in our food system.”

Segmentation approach

The FSA’s framework, entitled ‘Regulating our Future​,’ has raised fears that under the new criteria, some businesses will face either fewer inspections or ones that are “more intrusive and rigorous”.

Recognising that no single approach to regulation can satisfactorily cover the diversity of size, culture or risk, the FSA’s intention to segment businesses into the regulatory model is an approach adopted to address this variation.

“We will explore the potential to take into account compliance performance by a business in other regulatory areas beyond food, to judge the behaviour and culture within the business and the impact this may have on food safety compliance,”​ the report stated.

“Using data in this way will for the first time give the FSA the ability to look across the population of food businesses as a whole”.

In response, the IFST said it “supported the Segmentation and Assurance components of the new framework and generally the intent to drive the collection and analysis of data for risk management, across the entire model.

“IFST’s charitable object focusses on ensuring safe and healthy food for the general public; the system as described could add to consumer confidence in the food supply and reduce the public health risks – the development and reporting of outcomes will be paramount to demonstrate that these aims are met”.

 

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Related topics: Policy, Food safety

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