Propel Morning Briefing

FSA to spare inspections for low-risk foodservice businesses

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set out a new approach to enforcing food regulation that will place more onus on businesses to ensure they are compliant. The move will see some businesses face no inspections.

The FSA said the time had come to create a modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient regulatory system to keep up with the pace of change in the global food economy.

It said businesses considered low-risk will be subject to fewer or no inspections under the new regime, which will see an expanded role for private assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor, which has its own requirements around food safety and standards.

There will be greater integration of food hygiene and food standards controls to provide a more holistic approach to verifying food businesses are meeting all their food safety obligations.

The FSA also plans to enhance the Primary Authority scheme, whereby businesses operating across multiple sites would be assessed based on their business-level controls rather than individual outlets.

A more comprehensive registration system would help capture all food businesses before they began producing, selling or serving food, and help them set off on the right foot, the agency said.

It denied a greater reliance on private assurance schemes constituted a move towards greater self-regulation by the food industry.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock told Footprint News: “We want to ensure food regulation in the future is fit for purpose, anticipates and responds to new, emerging risks, and uses new technology and data to evidence that food businesses are fulfilling their obligations for food to be safe and authentic.”

 

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