To deliver its vision of 'safe food for the nation', the Agency draws on the skills of a wide range of staff. In this section you can read how economists, statisticians, scientists, enforcement officers and others do their jobs. And how their work fits into the bigger picture.
Economist careers at the Agency
The Agency's economists apply their technical knowledge and skills to vital, fundamental policy questions. Economists help to develop the Agency's policy and regulatory responses, for example, by quantifying the costs and benefits associated with proposed policies.
Enforcement careers at the Agency
Enforcement staff play a key part in keeping food safe by ensuring compliance with food law and dealing with consumer groups, businesses, local authorities and other stakeholders.
Some staff have previous local authority experience, and all bring a range of learning and experience to bear in their roles. They are involved in emergency planning, visits and inspections, meetings with regional partners, intelligence gathering and policy development.
All this activity gives the Agency a credible and persuasive presence nationwide, and helps us to meet our objectives as a regulator. Consumers are protected from foodborne infections. Food businesses are regulated in a consistent, proportionate way and offered practical advice that helps them comply with the law.
Legal careers at the Agency
The Agency’s legal team has a vital role to play in supporting both its policy and its operational functions. It comprises qualified lawyers, managerial and support staff and a team of out-stationed investigators.
On the policy side, Agency lawyers provide expert advice directly to FSA officials. Through officials the legal team also provides legal advice to Ministers and officials in other government departments, local authorities, food and feed businesses and consumers. FSA lawyers also draft secondary legislation, which regulates the production and marketing of food and animal feed.
On the operations side, the legal team provides advisory support to operations staff carrying out official controls in certain types of establishments, investigates alleged breaches of food safety and hygiene rules in those establishments and conducts prosecutions of offending food business operators.
Scientific careers at the Agency
Good science is fundamental to the Food Standards Agency and how it fulfils its responsibilities. Policy development is driven by the best science, much of which the Agency commissions to feed into its decision-making processes.
The scientists and technologists who work for the Agency have a wide range of scientific and technological knowledge and experience, which they use in a variety of roles. These include: commissioning research for the Agency, arranging surveys, monitoring scientific knowledge in the fields that affect the Agency's work, developing science policy for the Agency and checking the advice it gives.
For example, Toxicology is essential for assessing the safety of chemicals in food.The British Toxicology Society is the professional body of UK toxicologists, and most of the toxicologists at FSA are members.
People join the Agency at different stages in their careers, sometimes straight from gaining science qualifications, sometimes after several years in industry or research.
Statistical careers at the Agency
The purpose of statistics branch is to provide timely and accessible expert statistical advice to the Agency.
Statistical evidence is a key part of our work on food safety policy. We identify food safety risks and respond to consumer concerns.
Statisticians advise on surveys and research to estimate chemical levels and the effectiveness of safety systems, amongst other things. They support the analysis and development of Agency databases and provide additional analyses of data, from whatever source, relating to the Agency's work.
Their contribution is therefore vitally important and feeds into the work of policy making colleagues.
More in this section
Monday 19 February 2007
I am an economist, and work in the economics advice branch. My day-to-day work focuses on Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) and the cost/benefit analysis that forms a key part of that.
Monday 18 December 2006
I am a food law enforcement auditor in the FSA's Audit Branch. The branch carries out 'audits' of those local authorities in England involved in food law enforcement. This work contributes towards the Agency's core objectives: to protect public health from risks in relation to food and to protect the interests of consumers.
Monday 22 October 2007
I am a qualified environmental health practitioner and senior policy officer working in the Consumer Choice and Food Standards team at FSA Northern Ireland.
Tuesday 19 June 2012
I work as a policy adviser in the Food Safety Monitoring & Policy branch. As FSA in Scotland is a small office, staff tend to cover a wide range of topics.
Sunday 25 March 2012
I am senior lawyer in the Legal Services team and spend about half of my time on advisory work.
Friday 16 May 2008
I’m a Scientific Officer with the Agency, responsible for incident prevention and chemical risk management in the Food Protection Division.
Wednesday 8 August 2007
I work as a higher scientific officer in the Food Allergy Branch, where I act as a project officer for a number of food allergy and intolerance research projects.