Our data

Data strategy

We recognise the value of data, both our own and that held by other parties including government departments, industry, academia, non-government organisations, civic society and social media. 

We have developed a data strategy explaining our approach to data management and use.

Central to the strategy are the following principles:

  • Value
  • Trust
  • Responsibility
  • Culture
  • Ethics
  • Excellence
  • Open Data

Data strategy update

Our 2019 data strategy update describes the work we have done towards achieving goals set out in our data strategy. It also outlines a few of the ways data benefits the FSA at a strategic and operational level.

Helping everyone get the most from their data

We have access to enterprise-quality reporting and analytics tooling, so our users can access reliable data that is accurate, documented and automatically refreshed.

At a more advanced level, our experts keep pace with the changing technical landscape of data innovation and explore how to take advantage of new technologies and data handling techniques.

Connecting, sharing and working well with others

We have focused on adopting (and in some cases creating) defined data standards and interoperability. This allows us to share data with partners more efficiently, or mash up their data with ours. As a result, our shared understanding of what's happening is enriched. We can work together better on issues that affect us jointly. We discuss this in more detail in the most recent Chief Scientific Officer's report.

We actively engage and share learning with the U.K. food industry, other government departments (e.g. APHA, HMRC) and academia. For instance, working on the Internet of Food Things (IoFT) initiative led by Lincoln University, we are looking to connect the data with the physical foodstuff. On an international stage, we are engaging with the Global Food Safety Initiative and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Understanding the ecosystem we operate in

Mapping our data ecosystem gave us a more complete picture of the food and feed supply chain and the food business landscape, so we're in a much better place as an effective modern regulator. We know where to look for risk and impacts, and we understand the factors we need to watch. We can decide where we use resources to be most effective, and where we should act, influence and monitor.

Making use of our expanding data science capacity, we can also use sophisticated methods of predictive modelling to identify potential incidents before they arise, with a better understanding of the factors involved. We can explore complex relationships using weather, climate, demographic and economic data to name just a few of the options available to us.

Information asset register

The information asset register shows a collection of different types of information relating to a topic that has a clear value and is managed together so it can be used, shared and protected effectively.

Information asset register

Use our data

All of our open datasets are available on our data catalogue and are free for you to use. A dataset can take many forms (tables, spreadsheets, database reports) but is essentially a structured set of data.

Data catalogue

Register of data standards and code lists 

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme data

The data provides the food hygiene rating or inspection result given to a business and reflect the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority. Businesses include restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places consumers eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

The data are held on behalf of local authorities participating in either the Food Standards Agency's:

  • national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, or
  • the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) in Scotland

Data are only available for local authority areas running either of these schemes.

Guidance on using the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme API

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme data

Food and allergy alerts data

The FSA Food Alerts API provides access to current and recent Food Alerts: Allergy Alerts (AA), Product Recall Information Notices (PRIN) and Food Alerts for Action (FAFA). It provides applications with the facility to list alerts matching some filter criterion, and to retrieve a description of an alert.

Guidance on using the alerts API

Open Government Licence

You may use our information free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Any enquiries regarding the use and re-use of this information resource should be emailed to: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Read the licence

Contact team

If you want more information about our strategy, have any comments or think you have data that we might wish to use please contact data@food.gov.uk