Local authorities

We work closely with local authorities in the UK to help ensure food stays safe and honest. We have agreements and protocols in place to support local authorities in their work and give guidance to explain the regulations and how they can be applied to food businesses.
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Find feed and food codes of practice

Contact your local food safety team

FSA Smarter Communications

As part of the ongoing development of how we communicate with local authorities and provide them with resources to do their roles effectively we have created FSA Smarter Communications; a platform to allow for communication, collaboration and resources aimed at local authority officers working in the food and feed enforcement areas.

This platform will be the main portal for local authorities to locate resources such as forms, templates, toolkits and guidance. Officers will also be able to select what type of communications they receive from us and how often.

To access FSA Smarter Communications you need to create an account. Local authority officers should use their official work email to get instant access; interested stakeholders will need approval from a platform administrator. More information can be found on the FSA Smarter Communications website.

You can access the archive of enforcement letters sent to local authorities by us at the National Archives.

Supporting local authorities

We provide local authorities with guidance and frameworks to ensure they are consistent when enforcing the relevant laws for food and animal feed. These include Codes of Practice, Framework Agreements and Practice Guidance.

Framework Agreement

The Framework Agreement on Official Feed and Food Controls by Local Authorities provides us with a way to implement our powers under the Food Standards Act to influence and oversee local authority enforcement activity.

The Agreement details:

  • publicly available local service plans to increase transparency of local enforcement services
  • agreed feed and food law enforcement standards for local authorities
  • enhanced monitoring data with greater focus on inspection outcomes and which provides more detailed information on local authority performance
  • an audit scheme aimed at securing improvements and sharing good practice

National Enforcement Priorities

The National Enforcement Priorities (NEPs) for animal feed and for food hygiene at the level of primary production are developed annually in consultation with 

  • local authority representatives 
  • National Trading Standards 
  • regional feed leads 
  • National Agriculture Panel 
  • National Animal Feed at Ports Panel members

Incorporating the NEPs into a programme of official controls helps  to maintain improvements in compliance levels by feed business operators through intelligence led enforcement. This aims to:

  • maintain a level playing field for honest and diligent businesses, which is in the interests of the feed industry as a whole
  • reduce unnecessary burdens on business by focusing the activity of local authorities on agreed areas of greatest threat to the human and/or animal health
  • create a flexible and effective intelligence-led approach to interventions, while maintaining appropriate levels of monitoring of compliance across England and Wales
  • realise our strategic goal of ‘Food We Can Trust’ 
  • drive up the quality and consistency of official controls across England and Wales
  • safeguard animal and/or public health

Supporting guidance materials for enforcement officers

In addition to the Code of Practice and Practice Guidance, we publish standalone guidance documents on a range of topics. This is often as a result of new regulations coming into force, a development in policy or in response to an incident.

The Food and Feed Law Guide (January 2018 update) is a reference tool for food and feed legislation applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It contains information on the division of responsibility for food law in the UK, updates on amended legislation, schedule of upcoming legislation and any which have been cancelled. 

Training for enforcement officers

We provide training for enforcement officers on different subjects including: 

  • sampling 
  • labelling
  • food safety
  • hygiene and standards
  • feed safety
  • traceability

Links to training materials and online courses for enforcement officers can be found at FSA Smarter Communications, our resource and communication portal for local authorities.

Monitoring local authority activity

As a regulator we need to monitor what local authorities find during their enforcement activities. Every year local authorities upload data generated from their systems to our web-based platform called Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (LAEMS).

The data uploaded to LAEMS is then combined and sorted into categories such as interventions, sampling and enforcement. Once the data are confirmed they can then be evaluated and published.

Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System - data

April 2017 to March 2018

Official statistics for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

April 2016 to March 2017

Reports from earlier years can be found on the National Archives website.