The Mitchells & Butlers study demonstrated that the local authority officers and second party auditors were assessing and scoring compliance in a similar way. In the Tesco study, there was also a good degree of consistency between food hygiene ratings given during the exercise and those awarded by local authorities.
The studies showed that industry data could potentially be used by enforcement officers to assess the compliance of food businesses. However, the studies concluded that further work is necessary to establish how private sector audit data could be used to provide assurance that businesses are complying with food law.
Nina Purcell, Director of Regulatory Delivery and Wales, said:
“These studies have provided us with a valuable insight to inform our current thinking on Regulating our Future, which is a crucial piece of regulatory reform. The studies demonstrated that data from businesses’ own compliance checks could potentially be used to inform the scope, nature and frequency of official controls.
“Whilst the studies were limited in scope and were not representative of all food businesses, it was useful to work with both a major national retailer and caterer who openly provided data for the trials."