FSA Mews Item, 1 December 2006
From 1 January 2006, new European Union (EU) food hygiene legislation has applied and has extended hygiene controls on farms, in most cases for the first time. Local authorities with responsibilities relating to animal health and feeding stuffs on farms are expected to undertake enforcement of these new requirements with effect from 1 December 2006.
More information about the new arrangements can be found in the letter to local authorities at the link below. The letter confirms the arrangements for funding this activity and training of local authority staff.
FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/06/078), 1 December 2006
1. From 1 January 2006, new EU food hygiene legislation has applied and has extended hygiene controls on farms in most cases for the first time. This letter explains that food authorities (as set out in paragraph 5 below) are to undertake enforcement of these new requirements with effect from 1 December 2006 and confirms the arrangements for funding this activity and training of staff.
2. The hygiene legislation is contained in Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. This is applied by the Food Hygiene ( England ) Regulations 2006. Regulation 5 sets out the division of enforcement responsibilities between Food Authorities and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). In respect of Regulation 5 (1) (a), the Agency's responsibility is for enforcement carried out by the Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate and the Egg Marketing Inspectorate. Food authorities are responsible for all other enforcement.
3. Following the decision by the FSA Board that in England local authorities were best placed to undertake this enforcement work, the Agency has been in discussion with local authority representatives and with industry and other stakeholders on the details of the enforcement regime. The proposed arrangements were subject to full public consultation (which closed on 20 November). The consultation documents can still be accessed from: http://www.food.gov.uk/consultations/consulteng/2006/eufarmhygieneeng 4 .
4. The FSA is reflecting on the points made in response to the consultation and will publish its response in the usual way. In the meantime, this letter confirms that from 1 December 2006 local authorities in England will be responsible for the enforcement of the EU food hygiene requirements in the primary production sector as described in paragraph 2 above.
5. It is expected that this role will be performed by county councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan borough councils and London boroughs, reflecting enforcement responsibilities relating to animal health and feeding stuffs on farms.
6. The FSA has made funding available to local authorities to undertake enforcement of food hygiene legislation on farms. This is being made available as a grant payment under Section 31 of the Local Government Act. You will therefore need to make arrangements to claim the funding allocated to your authority. If your authority has not already submitted a claim, please do so at an early opportunity.
7. The application for funding for the primary production enforcement work can be accessed from the Agency's web site on the address below – http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/enf_e_06_067.pdf
Training and support to enforcement officers
8. The Agency is jointly holding a series of national training events with LACORS. Details of these are available on the LACORS website.
9. Those attending the training will receive a “toolkit” of reference material which will eventually be made available as a CD-ROM. This will include information on how farm details will be made available and will cover how the enforcement arrangements will be reflected in the Food Law Code of Practice and future monitoring arrangements. The intention is that those receiving the training will actively disseminate the information to others in their authority.
10. If your authority has not yet taken up a place, please encourage your staff to attend a training session. We will be reviewing the need for further sessions in response to demand.
Review of enforcement arrangements
11. These are new arrangements, applying for the first time at the level of primary production. The FSA therefore believes that it is important to be able to review the arrangements in light of the experience gained on the ground. We will therefore be working with local authorities, with LACORS and with other stakeholders to review the arrangements after December 2007.