The reports are part of a rolling programme by the Agency which scrutinises the food law enforcement activities of all Scotland's 32 local authorities with the aim of raising national standards and improving consumer protection. Edinburgh and Stirling Councils are the third and fourth authorities to be audited.
Today's reports reveal that both Edinburgh and Stirling show a commitment to continuous improvement. In addition:
Some areas for improvement were identified, such as:
A follow-up Action Plan covering key areas for improvement has been agreed with the Councils.
Jim Thomson, Assistant Director of the Food Standards Agency Scotland said:
"Edinburgh and Stirling Council have done well in their Local Authority food law enforcement audit and consumers in these areas can be reassured that they are receiving adequate protection. Although there are areas for improvement today's reports will allow them to focus on these weaknesses and further raise their standards."
Councillor Brian Fallon, Executive Member, Environmental and Consumer Services for Edinburgh Council said:
"The City of Edinburgh Council has targeted the Government's extra funding on food safety in the Environmental Health Division, and the staff are to be thanked for their commitment to achieving these high standards. This has resulted in better education of food workers and more focused enforcement. We welcome the openness and help from the Food Standards Agency and will build upon their findings."
Ian Kelly, Head of Environmental Operations from Stirling Council said:
"We are very pleased with the main findings of the audit which confirmed that we had effective food safety procedures in place and a solid base of effective performance upon which to build. We accept that there is always room for improvement and have agreed an action plan with the Food Standards Agency to further improve internal systems."
The first wave of audits were announced on 16 July 2001 and incorporated the following local authorities: East Renfrewshire, Perth & Kinross, Stirling, Edinburgh, Shetland, Moray, South Ayrshire and Falkirk.
A team of auditors closely scrutinised the work of Stirling Council on 25 and 26 July 2001 and Edinburgh Council on 7 and 8 August 2001. The audits assessed the authority's conformance against specified standards with the aim of improving consistency, sharing best practice and tackling problems that hinder effective enforcement.