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Regulatory approach

Our regulatory approach provides information on how the FSA meets its responsibilities under the Governments’ regulatory framework and reports on the impacts of regulatory changes we introduce in line with our reporting commitments.

Last updated: 12 February 2024
See all updates
Last updated: 12 February 2024
See all updates

Our primary statutory objective is to protect public health and consumers' other interests in relation to food.

Excessive or unclear regulation places an unnecessary burden on business and hinder effective delivery of the intended benefits.  We engage stakeholders to inform and develop our policy decisions, including assessing the impacts of our decisions.

We strive to be a fair and effective regulator, proportionate and forward-looking in our regulatory approach and focused on achieving the outcomes we seek.

Our pledge is to put consumers first in everything we do, so that food is safe and what it says it is, that we have access to an affordable healthy diet, and can make informed choices about what we eat, now and in the future.

Our Food Standards Agency brochure - Food we can trust sets out our priorities and proposed approaches to achieve our strategic outcomes including the principles by which we work.

Engagement and consultation

We routinely engage and consult stakeholders to develop our regulatory policy. You can help shape our approach by providing your views and evidence to inform our decision making process.

Find out more information on consultations or find the latest consultations.

Impact Assessments

An Impact Assessment (IA) is a policy tool to assess impacts of options considered, including the expected costs and benefits against the rationale for Government intervention. The impacts of policy development decisions assessed by the FSA are set out as standard practice in our public consultations.  Where significant impacts are identified, or where we identify a particular benefit or significant stakeholder interest in producing a more detailed assessment of the impacts, we will most likely produce and publish our assessment in the format of a full regulatory impact assessment template.  All final FSA regulatory impact assessments, produced in this format, are published on our website.      

Regulatory review

Regulation should be proportionate and effective in delivering the intended outcome. Our routine review of existing regulations are carried out to monitor and maintain regulatory effectiveness and proportionality.

Details of planned and completed FSA reviews 

The FSA Food and Feed Law Guide 

The Food and Feed Law Guide (under review) 

We are currently reviewing our published list of food and feed legislation that applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.   The list is published on our site for reference purposes, as it remains a useful aid.

Regulators’ Code

We follow The Regulators' Code which provides a clear, flexible and principles-based framework for how regulators should engage with those they regulate. 

Though we strive to be an excellent, accountable and modern regulator we accept that others may not always agree with our approach. The following sets out the standards you should expect from the FSA and how you can complain if we fail to meet this.

Service standards - whether you are a consumer or business, we are committed to providing you with a helpful, courteous and efficient service as set out in our statement of service standards.

Complaints and comments - receiving comments and responding to complaints is important to us and we will try to resolve any problem quickly, and explain what we have done and why.