Food Law News - UK - 1997
9 April 1997: ADMINISTRATION - Review of Section 40 Codes of Practice
DH Letter, 9 April 1997
Review of Section 40 Codes of Practice No 16 and Annexes 1 and 1(i) of No 9
The above Codes are issued under Section 40 of the Food Safety Act and establish procedures for the enforcement of food legislation. A general review of all the Codes is currently underway but, following the recommendations of the Pennington Group (in particular the Interim Report), the Department of Health has issued draft revisions of Code No 16 and the Annexes of Code No 9.
The revision of Code 16 includes the following:
- It introduces a category of incident to be known as a “Serious Isolated Incident” in addition to the present “Isolated Incident” and “Wider Problem”. The serious isolated incident would be notified to central Government Departments.
- The present Code was considered to hinder the provision of information to the public. The redrafted Code makes it clear that information should be released where this could help protect public health.
- More specific information is to be included relating to the assessment of the type of incident
Certain other changes are proposed relating to the mechanism for issuing food hazard warnings and the categories used for the warning notifications.
The amendments to the Annexes of Code 9 are designed to increase the frequency of inspection of those premises where there is a risk of foods being contaminated with certain microorganisms. This is achieved by introducing an additional score of 20 points in the Inspection Rating Scheme for any premises where there is a significant risk of food being contaminated with E.coli O157, other VTEC or Clostridium bolulinum. This will mean that all premises in Category B which attract this additional score will move to Category A and many premises in Category C will move to Category B. These changes in classification will mean changes in inspection frequencies from one inspection every 12 months to one every 6 months; and one every 18 months to one every 12 months respectively.
Comments on the changes are requested by 9 May 1997.
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