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.
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We engage with stakeholders to inform and develop policy decisions and assessing the impacts of these decisions.

We have a statutory objective to protect public health and consumers' other interests in relation to food. Excessive or unclear regulations, however, place an unnecessary burden on business, and other groups, and so hinder effective delivery of the intended benefits.

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 Strategic Plan 2015-2020 - Food we can trust sets out our priorities and proposed approaches to achieve our strategic outcomes including the principles by which we work.

Regulating our future

Regulating our future is a programme of change we are leading to improve the way we deliver regulatory controls for food and create a modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient system. The programme is being developed in close engagement with businesses, consumers and our delivery partners.

Find out more about regulating our future.

Engagement and consultation

Engaging and consulting with stakeholders is critical to what we do and how we develop our regulatory approach. You can help shape the way food and feed law is implemented in the UK by providing us with your views and evidence to help inform our decision making process.

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

Impact Assessments

An Impact Assessment (IA) is a policy tool to assess impacts of options considered this includes the expected costs and benefits against rationale for Government intervention. Understanding the costs, benefits, and risks of any new measure or proposal is fundamental to good policy making.

Business Impact Target Reporting

In 2016, the Government announced its Business Impact Target (BIT) to deliver a saving of £10 billion to business and voluntary or community bodies from qualifying measures.

In-line with the reporting requirements under the BIT a statement of measures introduced by the FSA that qualify as regulatory provisions under the BIT along with a statement on non-qualifying regulatory provisions under the BIT is published below.

Regulatory review

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

Details of planned and completed RFSA reviews are detailed here. 

Our innovation and regulation plan

Our Innovation and Regulation plan brings together and highlights the work we do and sets out how our regulatory framework is working effectively to support innovation and disruptive business models.

Our Qualifying Regulatory Provisions


FSA BIT Assessment Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) Validation
Official Controls Charges in Meat Premises: A Proposal for a New Discount System Validated
Introduction of Specific Approval for the Production of Burgers Intended to be Eaten Less Than Thoroughly Cooked (LTTC) Validated
Reduction of purification times for shellfish purification cycles Validated
Extended Audit Frequencies at approved FSA meat establishments Validated

FSA guidance for business (combined submission)

Listeriosis in ready to eat foods within care setting Antibiotic residue testing for dairy producers


Update to the FSA Food Law Code of Practice Validated


Non-qualifying regulatory provisions Date covered
FSA – Non-qualifying Regulatory Provisions (NQRP) – Summary Report 8 May 2015 – 31 May 2017
FSA – Non-qualifying Regulatory Provision Assurance Statement – confirmed 8 May 2015 – 31 May 2017


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 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.