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FSA Board meets in Birmingham and supports the city to get ready for the Commonwealth Games

Opening the Food Standards Agency’s first Board meeting of the year, held in Birmingham, Chair Susan Jebb announced additional funding for Birmingham City Council to help increase food hygiene standards across the city ahead of the Commonwealth games this summer.

Last updated: 9 May 2022
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Professor Susan Jebb, Chair of the FSA said:

“I’m delighted to be able to announce this funding at our Board meeting here in Birmingham today. We hope the Commonwealth Games will be a showcase not just for athletics, but for the city and the UK as a whole. Food will always be an important part of the visitor experience and we want to support businesses to deliver food people can trust. 

“It’s really important that we ensure the temporary food outlets which will open for the Games uphold the same standards we expect from every other food business. “We are, as ever, indebted to local authorities who deliver the food inspections and provide support to businesses on the ground. Their work is crucial to the confidence consumers can have in the food hygiene rating scheme. We continue to encourage everyone to check the ratings for the places where they buy food as part of our work to drive up standards."

The £220,000 funding will enable Birmingham City Council’s environmental health team to take on four new members of staff. These will each provide essential extra support to food businesses across the city over the next six months to ensure they can achieve their full potential in meeting food safety and hygiene standards.

In addition, the council will be undertaking allergen checks on their visits to food businesses, as well as checks for cross-contamination and compliance with allergen labelling requirements, following the introduction of new rules introduced last October.

The meeting was also an opportunity for the FSA to set its direction for the next five years as the Board reviewed content for its new strategy.

Professor Susan Jebb, said:

“I’m really looking forward to the launch of the FSA’s new strategy which will provide us with a clear direction for the next five years and will be integrated into all our areas of work going forward.

“There’s no doubt that we must retain our mission in food you can trust and reaffirm our commitment to put consumers at the heart of everything we do. I’m pleased the Board was so positive about the development of the strategy and I look forward to its publication in the next few weeks.

Imports from Fukushima

The Board also formally agreed with the recommendation that the import ban on food products including fish and vegetables from Fukushima should now be lifted, 11 years after the nuclear accident of 2011.

This is the first time the FSA has reviewed the ban since taking responsibility for regulatory controls post Brexit and, having reviewed the scientific evidence presented in the paper, Board members agreed that the ban should be lifted.

The recommendation will now be presented to Ministers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, if ministers agree with the FSA advice, restrictions would be lifted later this year.