The FSA has today published official statistics on food law enforcement by local authorities for the year 2016/17. The information provided by local authorities and compiled by the FSA, gives a detailed breakdown of enforcement activity across the UK.
The new data show:
an increase in food hygiene compliance in food establishments, continuing the trend of increases since 2014/15;
a decrease in the number of planned interventions for food standards, which covers areas such as authenticity and food fraud;
the percentage of due food hygiene interventions, which covers food safety, has continued to rise, 85% compared to 84% last year.
a continuing fall in staffing levels which reduced by 2.7% in 2016/17 compared with the previous year.
Nina Purcell Director of Regulatory Delivery at the FSA, said:
“It’s encouraging that local authorities are continuing to target their activities at food businesses where food safety risks are the highest or where food fraud is more likely.
“But the decrease in planned interventions for food standards is concerning and while hygiene interventions are increasing there remains a 15% shortfall.
“We’re going to use this enforcement data, along with other intelligence, to identify and target underperforming local authorities so that we can work with them to secure improvements or tackle any particular problems they may have.”
The FSA monitors local authority performance through Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (LAEMS) returns and reports on an annual basis.
The Framework Agreement on the Delivery of Official Feed and Food Controls by local authorities is the mechanism by which the FSA sets out the standards for local authority food law services, which includes the FSA’s monitoring and audit processes. Details on the Framework Agreement can be found in the section below.
LAEMS is a web-based system to which local authorities are able to upload data generated from the local system(s) on which they record data on food law enforcement activities. Further details can be found in the section below.
Once uploaded to LAEMS, the local authority data are aggregated to the pre-defined categories required by the FSA e.g. interventions, sampling and enforcement.