UK: FSA introduces new model for food standards controls
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has unveiled a new model for carrying out food standards controls. Local authorities or district councils are responsible for conducting these checks to ensure that food produced and sold by businesses is safe and accurately labeled.
The FSA's revised approach will enable local authorities to focus their time and resources on those businesses that pose the greatest risk by using a more intelligence-driven and risk-based approach to inspections. Non-compliant businesses will face more frequent checks, while compliant ones will face fewer controls.
Seven local authorities in England and Northern Ireland piloted the new model last year, and a trial is set to begin soon in Wales.
The FSA hopes the new approach will disrupt the supply of fraudulent or unsafe food further up the chain before it reaches consumers. The new model will be phased in across England and Northern Ireland this summer, and each local authority must have it in place by March 2025.
The FSA revised the Food Law Code of Practice following a 12-week consultation, during which councils, trading standards groups, and other organizations provided feedback. While many responses supported the new model, some expressed concerns about whether local authorities have the necessary resources to meet the requirements.