FSA Consultation Letter, 15 June 2006
The FSA are seeking views and comments on a draft advisory document, developed by the Food Incidents Task Force, in order to reduce the possibility of future contamination incidents, such as those involving Para Red and Sudan dyes, and to improve the management of such incidents if they do occur. Responses are requested by: 8 September 2006
For a copy of the consultation document available on this site, go to: Food Incidents Consultation (pdf file)
The key proposals of the draft advisory document are:
The task force on incidents, which has been facilitated by the Agency, has developed principles for preventing and dealing with food safety incidents.
The task force membership is:
The intention is to seek stakeholder comments on the document, for agreement at a September meeting of the task force and then make it readily available to all stakeholders, to enable them to prepare for and deal with incidents involving contaminants in food. The aims are to reduce the possibility of future contamination incidents, such as those involving Para Red and Sudan dyes, and to improve the management of such incidents if they occur.
This document does not represent a change of policy. It sets out the principles that apply, and give guidance on their application, in meeting existing obligations under food law and the general objective of providing food that is safe and of acceptable quality. We recognise that the format of the current draft is not very accessible for small businesses. This will be specifically addressed by the response to this consultation from the industry representatives on the incidents task force. Depending on responses received the task force may also consider providing a summary version of the document.
The Agency would welcome views on the suitability of the document in meeting the intended aims of preventing and dealing with incidents.
Background to the consultation
Food Incidents Task Force
Following the contamination incidents involving Para Red and Sudan dyes, the Agency set up a task force in May 2005, with the aim of reducing the possibility of future contamination incidents, and to improve the management of such incidents if they do occur.
The task force is chaired by the Agency's Chief Executive and members include senior representatives from the food industry, enforcement authorities and consumer organisations, as well as two independent members.
The aim is to:
This work will help protect public health, improve consumer confidence in the safety of food and ensure proportionate responses.
Task force's terms of reference
To advise the Agency on ways in which controls in the food chain might be strengthened recognising the new requirements of the General Food Law; the increasing complexity of the food supply; and the increasing sophistication of analytical techniques and in particular to: