The FSAs new strategy will not change how it interact with the food sector

The FSA's new strategy will not change how it interact with the food sector

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), the UK's food safety watchdog, has said that its renewed strategy will "not change its approach to industry".

The announcement follows the decision by the UK government last year to take away the watchdog's responsibility for nutrition and labelling, and give it a "renewed focus" on food safety. 

The FSA announced a new strategy earlier this week, with six outcomes that it will work towards to ensure that food is safe and that "consumers can continue to have trust and confidence in the food they buy and eat."

A spokesperson for the UK watchdog told just-food today (31 March) that the strategy, which has been updated to 2015, includes a new enforcement goal which follows the merger of the FSA with the Meat Hygiene Service in April 2010.

The FSA said the new outcome is: "Enforcement is effective, consistent, risk-based and proportionate and is focused on improving public health."

The spokesperson added that to support this, it has included a new principle around "enforcing food fairly". He said that the original outcome - 'Food products and catering meals are healthier' has been adjusted in line with the changes to its remit and "reflects the FSA's core role of protecting consumer interests in relation to food, while continuing to highlight the ongoing nutrition related work in Scotland and Northern Ireland".

Additionally, the outcome 'Consumers understand about safe food and healthy eating and have the information they need to make informed choices' has been slightly reworded to reflect the move of nutrition policy in England and Wales. The spokesperson said the priorities have also been adjusted to reflect this move, the on-going nutrition related work in Scotland and Northern Ireland on healthy eating, and "the decision by the government to stop work on developing integrated advice for consumers on food issues".

It also includes an increased emphasis on allergens, which the spokesperson said is now a priority for the FSA. It is working to increase the provision of information about allergens, including in catering establishments.