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FSA News Item, 12 February 2015
The UK Government announced this week that its 'Focus on Enforcement' review programme, which allowed businesses to highlight areas where they consider regulation to be overly burdensome or where they need further support to comply, has resulted in savings to business of over £40 million every year.
We have worked in partnership with businesses and local authority food enforcement teams to address the issues raised in relation to food, while continuing to protect consumers as our priority. Some of the actions we have taken are outlined below.
We launched 'MyHACCP', an online tool to help small food manufacturers produce their own food safety management system based on the principles of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP). This helps food businesses to implement effective HACCP-based food safety management systems and provide assurance that consumers' safety is being adequately protected. MyHACCP has received very positive feedback from industry as 'a great service making a daunting task a lot more manageable'.
Introduction to HACCP
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a system that helps food business operators look at how they handle food and introduces procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.
Specialist training – cheese
The review highlighted that local authority food enforcement officers could benefit from better access to training on specialist food products, such as cheese. The FSA has worked with the Specialist Cheesemakers' Association to develop and deliver additional training for enforcement officers on applying good hygiene practice and HACCP principles in the making of speciality cheeses. This training programme has been well received by business and local authorities and has helped cheese producers and their regulatory authorities work together to ensure food is safe.
E.coli cross-contamination guidance for business
Businesses reported that the FSA's E.coli cross-contamination guidance could be more flexible. In response, the FSA revised the guidance in collaboration with industry and local authority food enforcement officers, to provide further flexibility for business while ensuring that consumers continue to be protected from E.coli O157 cross-contamination.
E.coli O157: control of cross-contamination
Guidance for food businesses to clarify the steps that they need to take to control the risk of food becoming contaminated by E.coli O157 and what businesses should be doing to protect their customers.
Independent Business Appeal Panel
In response to business views over the lack of satisfactory mechanism for appeal, the FSA has established an Independent Business Appeal Panel to provide business with a consistent mechanism to appeal local authority decisions. We are also preparing for the appointment of an Appeals Champion to scrutinise FSA handling of business appeals and complaints.
How to make an appeal
Your business has the right to make an appeal against an FSA decision or against a local authority decision if you don't agree with action taken by a local authority inspector.
Looking ahead, we have started to develop our future regulatory strategy, which will inform our approach to our regulatory functions and the way we work with businesses to deliver benefits to consumers.