National Audit Office publishes report ‘Ensuring food safety and standards’

The National Audit Office has published the report entitled ‘Ensuring food safety and standards’.

It focuses on the effectiveness of the current regulatory arrangements to ensure that food is safe to eat and is what it says it is. Specifically, it covers food safety controls and food safety standards (Food Standards Agency policy responsibility) and food composition and labelling requirements (Defra policy responsibility). 

As any failure in the food regulatory system can impact on the safety of food, and therefore the ability of the FSA to meet its policy objectives, the National Audit Office has also examined the coherence of the wider regulatory system, and its ability to respond to both emerging risks and future challenges.

They have examined:

  • the extent to which the FSA and local authorities identify the areas of highest risk to food consumers and make effective use of resources (Part One);
  • whether the FSA has evidence that the regulatory system is effective in achieving outcomes and driving performance improvements (Part Two); and
  • whether the regulatory arrangements are coherent and sustainable in the context of emerging challenges (Part Three).