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Title Trust but verify - the changing role of food law enforcement. Last modified by: gwej Document presentation format: Custom Other titles – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Trust but verify - the changing role of food
law enforcement.
  • Stuart Musgrove
  • Food Law Enforcement Consultant
  • stuartmusgrove_at_waitrose.com

This mornings presentation
  • Introduction
  • Legislation and practice
  • Structure and delivery
  • Current situation
  • Future enforcement structure
  • Conclusions.

  • 434 Local Authorities, 2900 professional staff,
    600 support staff
  • Responsible for enforcement of most food
  • From primary production to retail sales, imported
  • Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Public
    Analyst, Health Protection Agency
  • Apply a range of official controls
  • Regular contact with businesses - over 500,000
    trade checks per year
  • Supported by laboratories
  • Framework Agreement - contract with the Food
    Standards Agency
  • Professional bodies - qualifications.

Legislation - European
  • E U General Food Regulation 178/2002
  • Food and animal feed safety, Food presentation,
    Food fraud, Traceability
  • Food Control Regulation 882/2004
  • Eliminate risk, permit fair trade, protect
    consumer interests
  • Definitions, official control tasks, training of
  • Member States shall ensure that official controls
    are carried out regularly, on a risk basis and
    with appropriate frequency......taking account
  • identified risks associated with food,
    businesses, processes, activities
  • food business operators past record of compliance
  • reliability of FBOs own checks
  • any information that might indicate
  • Any non-compliance has to be identified, risked
    and appropriate action taken to correct the

Food Control Regulation 882/2004 - Definitions
  • Audit
  • a systematic and independent examination to
    determine whether activities and related results
    comply with planned arrangements and whether
    these arrangements are implemented effectively
    and are suitable to achieve objectives
  • Inspection
  • the examination of any aspect of feed, food,
    animal health and animal welfare in order to
    verify that such aspect(s) comply with the legal
    requirements of feed and food law and animal
    health and animal welfare rules
  • Local Authority inspections should include an
    audit of food safety systems but then, a more
    detailed scrutiny to confirm compliance with all

Food Control Regulation 882/2004 - Tasks and
training requirements of the inspectors
  • Auditing, sampling, inspection
  • Control procedures
  • Food and feed law
  • Food manufacture and risks involved
  • Assessment of non-compliance
  • Hazards in food production
  • Evaluation of HACCP procedures
  • Management systems
  • Official certification systems
  • Contingency arrangements for emergencies
  • Legal proceedings
  • Interviewing skills
  • Examination of records, including financial and
    commercial aspects
  • Any other control area

Food Law Code of Practice (England)
  • Code of Practice - 181 pages
  • Qualifications, experience and training
  • Enforcement approach
  • Interventions (includes Official Controls)
  • Risk rating system
  • Practice Guidance - 243 pages
  • Further detail of operational details
  • Mainly concerned with hygiene inspections
  • Further operational advice from LACORS.

Local Authority Enforcement Structures and
  • County Councils, District Councils, Unitary
    Authorities in England
  • Very variable arrangements within Authorities
  • Consolidation of Departments in Local Authority
  • No longer Chief Officers in Environmental Health
    or Trading Standards
  • Less professionals at the strategic /policy
    decision level
  • Now usually part of groups that might include eg
    environmental services, highways, fire service.
  • Traditionally most Local Authority Departments,
    and many officers enforce many other areas of
  • health and safety, pest control, stray dogs,
    pollution control, consumer safety, weights and
    measures, infectious disease control, animal
    health and welfare
  • Rogers Report March 2007 tried to identify
    national priorities.

Sifting from over 60 policy areas to six national
From Determining National Priorities for local
authority enforcement services 2007
Food law enforcement visits
  • Hygiene, food composition, labelling
  • Premises
  • Primary production ?
  • Manufacturing / processing
  • Distribution / wholesale 16,000
  • Catering
  • Retail premises 130,000
  • Control tasks eg
  • Audits including HACCP procedures
  • Paperwork check - including Third Party Audits
  • Inspection
  • Sampling
  • Alternative enforcement strategies.

How effective are enforcement inspections
  • Welcomed by most food businesses - free services
  • Central Government has been gathering information
    for years
  • 2003 reasoned that data supplied not reliable
  • New system developed - too soon for detailed
  • 2009/10 more inspections, more prosecutions
  • Local Authority enforcement departments audited
    by the FSA
  • Look into systems in place, what has been done,
    accompanying inspectors new
  • Perhaps becoming more critical than earlier
  • Pennington Report into South Wales E.coli
    outbreak enquiry tell a different story.

How consistent are enforcement inspections
  • Food Industry is very heterogeneous and also very
  • Mixed farm, importer of organic herbs, gastropub,
    factory making ready meals, supermarket with
    15000 food lines.
  • The knowledge of the law and skills to inspect
    all businesses is vast
  • Qualifications, Training, Experience and
  • Assessment of risk, HACCP, labelling, fraud
  • Relevant advice for legal compliance
  • What percentage of inspection outcomes would be
    really that different ?
  • FSA and Local Authorities working on achieving
    consistency of inspections
  • Establishment risk rating

Charles Darwin - On the Origin of Species -1859
  • it is not the strongest species that survive,
  • nor the most intelligent,
  • but the ones most responsive to change

The enforcement role in changing times
  • FSA will retain the lead role in England
  • But in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ?
  • Role of DEFRA and Dept of Health in food policy
    development to increase
  • Not forgetting the role of other Government
  • Primary Authority, Earned immunity, Frequency of
  • Likely that Local Government will retain a role
    in Food Law enforcement
  • Part of the localism agenda
  • Delay in FSA review
  • FSA will continue to audit local authorities
  • Challenge to ensure and effective food control

The future role in changing times
  • Already in Local Government
  • Significant loss of resources, experienced staff,
    sampling budgets
  • Recruitment limited, training reduced for staff
  • Priorities being reviewed
  • Loss of national co-ordination - LACORS
  • For the industry
  • Loss of free independent inspections, sampling
    and advice
  • Support lost to small growing companies
  • Economic development
  • New resources to fund food control - charge of
    all inspections?
  • Private industry to provide inspection services
  • Develop new ways of working
  • Wider use of new technology
  • Can third party audits play a role?

Assessing the proportional response
Hard enforcement
Light touch, compliance
The swinging pendulum
What does the future hold ?
If you want to get to there, I would not
start from here
What does the future hold ? - A New Structure.
  • Clarify the enforcement role - no advice, no
    support - just enforcement
  • Simplify the structure at Government level
  • Create a Food Control Agency
  • Regional structure and responsibilities
  • primary production
  • manufacture /processing
  • Home and Primary Authority
  • Local offices
  • retail / catering
  • Combine the professional roles - Food Control
  • Laboratories
  • Resources.

  • Explained the legal requirements
  • Discussed the structure both at national and
    local level
  • Reviewed the changes taking place at present
  • Suggested a new regime with clearer lines of
  • But for the immediate future
  • What can be done with significantly less
  • Concentrate on those businesses that are likely
    to break the law and affect the communities they
  • For the rest, it is rather more trust, and rather
    less verification that is the order of the day.

  • Thanks to the IFST Western Branch for inviting me
    here today.
  • stuartmusgrove_at_waitrose.com
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