Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) give any person legal rights of access to information that is held by a public authority.

The Food Standards Agency makes a large amount of information available. Our publication scheme document (see link below) will provide you with more details and help you to find information that has already been published by the FSA.

Before you make a Freedom of Information request, please also look at our Disclosure Log and information published in response to previous FOI/EIR requests (see links below), as the information you are seeking may already have been released.

If you cannot find details of the information you are looking for and want to make a request for information to the Agency, either contact our Helpline by email at helpline@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 020 7276 8829, or use our Contact Us list to identify the correct person who deals with the subject you are interested in and obtain contact details.

Further guidance on how to make a valid Freedom of Information request is published on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Once the FSA receives a request for information, we will handle it as soon as is practicable, and in any event will respond within 20 working days of receiving the request.

If you are not satisfied with the way the FSA has handled your request for information, you should write within two calendar months of the date you received the response to the Openness Team, and ask for an internal review. They will arrange for the Complaints Coordinator to conduct the review. Their address is Food Standards Agency, Room 2C Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH (email: openness.team@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk).

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the FSA. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or through the ICO website.

Annual and quarterly statistics on the Agency’s handling of Freedom of Information requests are available on the Ministry of Justice website.

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