The Food Standards Agency works with enforcement officers to ensure that food and feed law is applied across the entire food chain.
The responsibilities of all the enforcement authorities in the UK are set out in the Single Integrated National Control Plan for the UK.
The Agency’s interaction with enforcement officers is set out in the Framework Agreement on Local Authority Enforcement. This document gives a structure to the Agency’s supervision of local authority enforcement work.
The Food Law Code of Practice (and the equivalent Feed Law code) sets out the way local authorities should apply food law, and how they should work with food businesses. Practice guidance is also provided as a further help to enforcement officers.
The Agency also provides guidance on specific regulations which are relevant to enforcement officers and food businesses to ensure that the law is clear.
The Code of Practice sets out instructions and criteria to which local authorities - the feed authorities - should have regard when engaged in the enforcement of animal feed law. Feed authorities must follow and implement the provisions of the Code that apply to them.
Local authorities and port health authorities are responsible for the enforcement of food safety and food standard controls on food products. The Horticultural Marketing inspectorate of the Rural Payments agency are responsible for enforcing Community Marketing rules on fresh fruit and vegetables. Guidance and resources for these and other enforcement authorities are available.
The Multi-Annual National Control Plan (MANCP) for the UK details the roles and responsibilities of the different authorities and organisations involved in the monitoring compliance with, and enforcement of, feed and food law, animal health and welfare rules and plant health requirements.
Food Standards Agency (FSA) audits of local authorities' feed and food law enforcement arrangements have identified core Service areas that are critical to maintaining effective service provision and improving food business compliance.
A food incident is an event where, based on the information available, there are concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food and/or feed that could require intervention to protect consumers' interests.
The Framework Agreement on Official Feed and Food Controls by Local Authorities provides the Agency with a mechanism for implementing its powers under the Food Standards Act to influence and oversee local authority enforcement activity.