The release by the FSA on 18th September 2017 provides a summary of local authority activity in relation to food law enforcement at food establishments for the year 2016/17.
The Food Standards Agency (‘FSA’) is responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK. The FSA is an independent government department which works closely with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations to check that standards are being met. The FSA monitors local authority performance through Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (‘LAEMS’) returns and then reports on an annual basis. While the statistics provided by the FSA shows an increase in relation to food hygiene compliance in food establishments across the UK, the statistics show that food hygiene interventions which covers food safety, are continuing the trend of increasing from 84% last year to 85% this year.
The FSA intends to use this data to identify and target underperforming local authorities to secure improvements. These planned interventions cover areas such as food fraud and food authenticity. This may ultimately lead to local authorities targeting food businesses more stringently where food safety risks are highest or where food fraud is more likely.
Wherever there are issues relating to food safety, local authorities will act very quickly when businesses are failing to demonstrate compliance. It is therefore vital that anyone running a business in the food industry has a sound understanding of what is required of them and are prepared for such interventions, in order to comply with food safety regulations. Failing to do so may lead to criminal investigations and/or criminal prosecutions. Should a business in the food industry face action by the local authority, it is always advisable to seek legal advice immediately to avoid a case developing and being published in the local press.
If you do require assistance in dealing with Food Standards Agency concerns or prosecutions our dedicated and experienced team are on hand to assist you. For more information, visit our food industry regulation page or call 0175 321 6399.