The Food Standards Agency Scotland presented the audit results of East Renfrewshire Council, the first Scottish local authority to be audited under a rolling programme, to the Scottish Food Advisory Committee at their open meeting in Dumfries. The Agency's audits aim to raise national standards of food safety enforcement and improve consumer protection.
Today's results show that overall East Refrewshire Council demonstrates a good level of food law enforcement. The Head of Services showed commitment to continuous improvement to achieve full compliance with the new standards for local authority enforcement:
Areas for improvements focused around administration issues:
Publishing the report, Jim Thomson, Assistant Director of the Food Standards Agency Scotland said:
"Local authorities are the front line troops in food law enforcement and it's important that they are given as much assistance as possible in order for them to do their jobs effectively. The new audit scheme will give them this help, by allowing them to build on their strengths and correct their weaknesses. East Renfrewshire's audit results are a reassuring sign for the consumer that food enforcement is being carried out effectively. Although there are areas in which the authority needs to improve on, we can safely say that as a result of the audit scheme, we are relatively pleased with the work being done by East Renfrewshire Protective Services."
Councillor Ian Forbes, East Renfrewshire Environment Convenor said:
"The results of the audit are very encouraging and reassure us and local consumers that we are doing an effective job. We are also grateful to the Food Standards Agency for bringing areas for improvement to our notice and we are now looking at how to put improvements in place".
A team of auditors closely scrutinised the work of East Renfrewshire Council on 25 July 2001. The audit assessed the authority's conformance against specified standards with the aim of improving consistency, sharing best practice and tackling problems that hinder effective enforcement.
The remaining seven reports from the first wave of eight audits are currently being completed and will be published shortly. The names of the local authorities included in the next wave of audits have also been announced today. They are: Argyll & Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Angus, Highland, Fife, South Lanarkshire, Dundee and Scottish Borders.