On 17 October 2022, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched a 12-week Food Law Code consultation. The consultation is seeking views from local authorities (LA), food business operators, unions and interested groups on the proposed changes to the Food Law Code of Practice in England.
The proposals involve fundamental changes to the food standards delivery model within the Code, and associated content, namely the introduction of a:
- new food standards risk rating scheme that LA officers will use to evaluate the risk posed by a food business
- new decision matrix to determine the frequency at which food standards official controls should be delivered in line with the outcome of the risk assessment
Local authorities follow the Code when carrying out official food controls. The Code requires regular review and revision to ensure that it reflects current priorities, policy, and legislative requirements so that the local authority delivery of official food controls remain effective, consistent, and appropriate.
The changes that the FSA are proposing will introduce a new food standards delivery model. The new model will allow local authorities to have flexibility to use any of the official control methods and techniques available and direct local authority resource to where it is most needed to tackle risk in the food chain.
“The Food Law Code of Practice enables us to ensure food is safe and what it says it is. The proposed amendments to the Code will enable local authorities to manage resources more effectively, by prioritising their activities on food businesses that pose the highest risk to public health and consumers.
“As part of the consultation process, we are planning a series of local authority engagement events to discuss the new model and the changes that are being proposed. The consultation ends on 9 January 2023, so we would encourage all those who have an interest in this to respond over the next 12 weeks.”Michael Jackson, Head of Regulatory Compliance Division (FSA)
The consultation page is available on the FSA website, where you can also find out about the Food Law Code of Practice. All comments and views should be included in the consultation response form and sent to: CodeReviewResponses@food.gov.uk
The consultation will close at midnight on 9 January 2023.
If you require food safety advice or support for your business, please contact one of the Ashbrooke team.