Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - UK - 2018

FSA Publication, 24 October 2018

OFFICIAL CONTROLS - FSA Paper: Changing food regulation: what we’ve done, where we go next

Regulating our Future: Changing food regulation: what we’ve done, where we go next

A copy of the paper is available on this site (click on image)

The Food Standards Agency has published a new document giving details of the progress in delivering on the ‘Regulating our Future’ programme.  The following is the introduction from the publication written by Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency:

A year ago we published ‘Why food regulation needs to change and how we are going to do it’. It set out our ambition, through to 2020, to modernise the regulation of food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the last twelve months, we have moved from planning to delivery, and already some components of our new approach are becoming a reality. This document explains the difference the delivery of the Regulating Our Future (ROF) programme will make to consumers, local authorities (LAs), other food law enforcement partners and businesses. We describe the progress made on delivering National Inspection Strategies and Enhanced Registration; how our work on regulating private assurance is progressing; the approach we are taking to designing a sustainable funding model for the new regime; and our renewed efforts to make it mandatory to display Food Hygiene Ratings at food premises in England.

So far, most of this work has been about regulating food hygiene and safety – the obligations on businesses to provide safe food to consumers. Over the next year, we will be applying the same principles to food standards, the systems that ensure businesses meet their obligations for food to be what it says it is.

We want to make food regulation agile, flexible and able to respond to technological change. We need most attention paid to where the biggest food risks occur. We want to deliver more consumer protection by enabling local authorities to use available, trusted information intelligently when deciding how a business should be regulated. The more reliable information and insight the food industry shares with us, the better we will all protect the public and build confidence in food.

These changes are especially important as the UK leaves the EU. Whatever the outcome of negotiations, we’ll need to be more innovative, flexible and responsive to wider global changes. Core elements of the ROF programme will be up and running in time for our departure in March next year. Our plans and ambitions have always had an international dimension; we are part of a growing trend to modernise food regulation. For example, Canada, Australia and Norway are changing how they regulate their food industries. Some EU countries are developing plans to do so. The direction we have set is of great interest to our international peers.

Local authorities will remain at the heart of the new regulatory system, delivering food hygiene and standards controls. We can only make the system better with the co-operation of everyone who works in food regulation – frontline enforcement officers, technical experts and scientists, elected officials. Bringing these colleagues with us will continue as a priority over the next 12 months.

ROF is on track to deliver the ambitious improvements we promised back in 2016 when we launched the programme – delivering a modern, robust and sustainable system of food regulation.



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