FSA News Item, 5 March 2010
The Agency has today published a paper on the enforcement of food law by UK local authorities in 2008/09. The paper, which includes enforcement activity data that has been collected using a new monitoring system, will be discussed by the FSA Board at its open meeting next week.
The data shows that just over half a million inspections and other visits were carried out by local authorities in 2008/09 and more than 86% of food businesses inspected, including restaurants, cafes and takeaways, had hygiene standards equivalent to the top three ratings of the planned national food hygiene rating ‘scores on the doors’ scheme.
There has also been an increase in total enforcement actions against food establishments that do not comply with hygiene regulations. Local authorities carried out more than 167,000 formal enforcement actions in 2008/09 and there was a notable increase from previous years in certain types of formal legal actions.
LAEMS (Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System), the new monitoring system, provides, for the first time, comprehensive data on UK food business compliance levels. It also provides better analysis opportunities and a more accurate database. New data has been collected for the first time that shows that a total of 2,861 full time equivalent professional local authority staff were engaged in UK food law enforcement as at 31 March 2009. More than 95% of councils reported food hygiene data with the new system.
A joint working group, involving the FSA, LACORS (Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services) and local authorities, has been established to look at ways to drive up standards of food establishments, and to ensure audit compliance by local authorities.