Skip to main content

FSA in Northern Ireland publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21

Northern Ireland specific
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today published its Northern Ireland Annual Report and Accounts for the past financial year. The report covers our performance and activities in 2020/21 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland at a net cost of £114.2 million.

In her foreword to the accounts, FSA Interim Chairman, Ruth Hussey writes: 

‘It has been the most challenging of years for the FSA and I am pleased that the Annual Report and Accounts shows that, despite the pressures of COVID-19 and preparing for the end of the transition period for leaving the EU, there has continued to be excellent progress against its strategic priorities.’

Chief Executive Emily Miles explains in her foreword that the FSA has adapted well to the many challenges during the reporting year and is proud of the work the FSA has done to manage the impact of the pandemic while progressing reform plans. She also explains we how we have progressed our priority of making the UK a better place to be a food hypersensitive consumer: 

‘This year we held a food hypersensitivity symposium with a range of speakers and workshops, published research which found that food businesses’ handling of allergens has significantly improved since new regulations came into force in 2014, and launched a successful awareness campaign targeting young adults who tend to be at a higher risk of experiencing food allergy reactions. We are also preparing businesses for October 2021, when legislation will come into force requiring food businesses to provide allergen labelling on prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food.’

Read the full report to find out more about our activities and performance during 2020/21, and our purpose, key functions and vision. 

Our year in numbers

Activity and performance across England, Wales and Northern Ireland included the following.

  • £1.4 million funds were supplied as grants to local authorities to support their end of EU transition period readiness
  • Almost 55,000 new businesses registered with our new digital Register a Food Business service
  • More than 58,000 accounts registered onto food and allergy intolerance e-training platform

Science

  • Our total science and research spend: £12.8 million 
  • 7,510 samples taken as part of the FSA’s sampling activities 
  • Our public attitudes tracker showed 75% of people aware of the FSA trusted the FSA to ensure food is safe and what it says it is

Operations and delivery

  • We were notified of and investigated 2,157 incidents
  • 98% meat food business operators in Northern Ireland rated ‘satisfactory’ or above for compliance
  • More than 99% of all animals processed in slaughterhouses were done so in compliance with animal welfare legislation
  • More than 2,500 National Food Crime Unit intelligence reports recorded and disseminated during 2020/21
  • More businesses in Northern Ireland supplying food directly to consumers achieved a food hygiene rating of 5 (‘Very good’): 81.5%

Northern Ireland nutrition

  • 2,916 more recipes inputted by users into MenuCal

Being the best organisation we can be

  • We are a ‘High performing’ Civil Service Department: Our employee engagement index score in Civil Service People Survey has risen by 3 points to 70%