About the FSA
The Food Standards Agency is responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK. We work with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations and have staff who work in UK meat plants to check that the requirements of the regulations are being met. We also commission research related to food safety.
Responsibilities for food-related policies
|Food safety and hygiene||FSA UK|
|Labelling (safety, allergy)||FSA UK|
|Food law enforcement||FSA UK and local authorities|
|Split responsibilities||England||Wales||Scotland||Northern Ireland|
|Nutrition||Department of Health||Welsh Government||FSA in Scotland||FSA in Northern Ireland|
|Labelling (nutrition)||Department of Health||FSA in Wales||FSA in Scotland||FSA in Northern Ireland|
|Responsibility of other departments|
- putting the consumer first
- openness and transparency
- science- and evidence-based
- acting independently
- enforcing food law fairly
How is the FSA structured?
The Agency is led by a Board that has been appointed to act in the public interest and not to represent particular sectors. Board members have a wide range of relevant skills and experience.
Although the FSA is a government department, it works at 'arm's length' from government because it doesn't report to a specific minister and is free to publish any advice it issues. We are, however, accountable to Parliament through health ministers, and to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for our activities within their areas.
Our UK headquarters are in London, but the Agency also has offices in York, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
How does the FSA make its decisions?
We base our decisions and advice on the best evidence available, including commissioning research and obtaining advice from independent advisory committees. We also aim to ensure that our decision-making process is as open and transparent in as possible.
Whenever possible, we seek the views of interested parties before reaching conclusions, and always explain the reasons for a decision or advice in a straightforward manner.
Strategy to 2015
The six outcomes the FSA aims to deliver are:
- foods produced or sold in the UK are safe to eat
- imported food is safe to eat
- food producers and caterers give priority to consumer interests in relation to food
- consumers have the information and understanding they need to make informed choices about where and what they eat
- regulation is effective, risk-based and proportionate, is clear about the responsibilities of food business operators, and protects consumers and their interests from fraud and other risks
- enforcement is effective, consistent, risk-based and proportionate and is focused on improving public health
The full strategy can be found at the link below.
More in this section
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Monday 28 March 2011
The Food Standards Agency's Strategy to 2015 sets out the approach we will take to ensure you can have trust and confidence in the food you buy and eat. The Strategy to 2015, which was updated in March 2011, sets out our objective of safer food for the nation and the outcomes and priorities we are working to achieve.
Friday 14 January 2011
Find out what help we can offer you
Friday 14 January 2011
Frequently asked questions by food businesses and those starting a business