The adulteration of food: setting thresholds for action and reporting

Last updated:
26 February 2016
We aim to formalise our approach by establishing a clear protocol for how we work with food businesses and other enforcement agencies in response to food adulteration incidents – in particular, how we identify thresholds for reporting and action when a new adulterant without previously agreed thresholds is discovered.

Your views are wanted

We are seeking views on the principles-based approach set out in the attached letter and are keen to understand the potential issues, impact, practicalities and unintended consequences of the proposal, and to hear suggestions for improvement where these arise.

We are seeking views from, amongst others, the food industry and its trade associations, public analysts and food laboratories, the local authority enforcement community (including the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute), consumer and faith groups, commercial standards bodies and relevant EU member state authorities and Commission bodies.

Consultation questions

  1. Is the proposed approach clear and pragmatic?
  2. Does the proposal provide an appropriate level of protection for consumers and their interests?
  3. Do you consider that there will be a disproportionate impact on a particular sector or interest group? If so, what might the costs or benefits be?
  4. Do you have any additional or alternative suggestions or proposals?

When

This consultation will last for a period of 12 weeks. Responses are requested by Friday 20 May 2016

At the close of the consultation we will review the submissions made to us and amend our incident-handling protocols and approaches to testing as necessary.

Contact

You can email your  comments to FoodIncidents@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

About this consultation

What is the purpose of this consultation?

The Food Standards Agency and the Food Standards Scotland are aiming to formalise our approaches and thereby establish a clear protocol for how we work with food businesses and other enforcement agencies in response to food adulteration incidents (that may or may not involve food safety issues) and in particular how we identify thresholds for reporting and action when a new adulterant without previously agreed thresholds is discovered.

During the consultation we may decide to further engage with specific stakeholder groups to ensure an open discussion and we garner as wide a range of views as possible.

Publication of response summary

At the close of the consultation we will review the submissions made to us and amend our incident-handling protocols and approaches to testing as necessary.  The responses to the consultation will be published (unless a consultee expressly wishes their response to be confidential) together with a statement explaining how the responses have been used by us in the formulation of our protocols.