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Consultation Launched on Changes to the Food Law Code of Practice
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have launched a consultation to get the views of stakeholders on proposed changes to the Food Law Code of Practice. Providing statutory guidance to ensure a consistent approach to enforcement by Local Authorities the changes being consulted on are focused on making sure official controls are targeted at businesses where interventions are necessary.
The first area that the consultation looks to clarify are the risk descriptors used to assign risk scores to food businesses. This move follows concern from the FSA that establishments carrying out similar activities are being subject to different intervention frequencies. In order to allow Local Authorities to concentrate on those businesses that do not comply with the law it is also proposed that the current inspection frequencies are changed. In practice this would see the category ‘C’ banding which requires inspection every 18 months decrease in width to take into account only those premises scoring between 52 and 71 while the ‘D‘ band requiring 24 month inspection would widen to include those premises rated between 31 and 51. It is estimated that this change would affect approximately 86,265 premises in the UK.
The final proposed amendment is to make the current policy on enforcement in establishments where Local Authorities and FSA have a dual responsibility more flexible. This will include the ability for food business operators to request that the FSA become the sole enforcement agency in certain circumstances. The consultation closes on 17th September.
Link to Consultation Pack: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/consultation/foodlawcop-pack.pdf