Regulating Our Future – key documents

We’re aiming for a sustainable approach to food safety regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to encourage businesses to change behaviours which will benefit consumers. Between now and 2020, we plan to implement and deliver a new regulatory model for food. As part of this we will publish key documents, studies, pilot research and data research in support of the Regulating our Future (ROF) programme.

Changing food regulation: what we’ve done, where we go next

This paper summarises what difference the delivery of the Regulating Our Future programme will make to consumers, local authorities, other food law enforcement bodies, and businesses. We describe the progress made on delivering National Inspection Strategies and Enhanced Registration; how our work on regulating private assurance is progressing; the approach we are taking to designing a sustainable funding model for the new regime; and our renewed efforts to make it mandatory to display Food Hygiene Ratings at food premises in England.

Why food regulation needs to change and how we are going to do it 

In 2017, we published our plans to change food regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read our proposals to transform the way food businesses are regulated.

KitchenLogs and Harrow council feasibility study

We undertook a feasibility study with KitchenLogs and Harrow council to discover if the use of a digital food safety management system can help increase the food hygiene ratings score and improve food hygiene and food standards. The study also looked at the data sharing between the digital system and the local authority.

Read our report which highlights the results from the study:

Register a food business service assessment

To ensure the new register a food business digital service met Government service design standards, we undertook an assessment of the alpha phase of the development. This report, delivered by peers from other government departments, demonstrates how the service met the required standards and next steps required for the development to progress into the beta phase. 

The results from the assessment will help us further develop the digitally enabled service for food business registration.

Pathways to Registration

This research and report provides an evidence base which will help us (and the ROF programme specifically) to: 

  • Establish the performance of the current food business registration and approval system; 
  • Enable the FSA to identify the level and type of support required for new businesses and help inform the development of tools to aid business compliance with food law and protect consumers. 

Telemetry Feasibility study

We undertook a Feasibility Study to demonstrate the value of using real time digital sensors to automatically monitor the temperature of key kitchen equipment and store live data. The study also looked at how real time data can be accessed and used to check and demonstrate compliance in a manner that is more efficient than paper-based systems. 

Read our report which highlights the results from the study here. 

CheckIt Feasibility study

New digital technology used by food businesses to manage hygiene practices could also be used to help environmental health officers (EHO) monitor food businesses in real time. 

This could help them to detect food safety problems sooner and improve protection for the public. Read our study which highlights the results from a trial of this new approach. 

Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum speech 

We have published a speech given by our Chair Heather Hancock to the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum on 24 April 2018. The Chair discussed the future of food regulation in the UK after EU Exit. Her speech covered four key areas: why food regulation matters after we leave the EU; what the new regulatory regime will mean in practice; how food will be regulated; and who will shoulder the responsibilities.

Pilot Project for the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety

We published the findings of a pilot study which identifies the potential for the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Global Standards assurance scheme to play a part in regulated private assurance - one of the key parts of the ROF model.

Despite starting before the ROF model was agreed, the pilot study moved away from its original approach in order to focus on how the BRC Global Standard could support the key ROF principles. This includes using all available information sources and recognising businesses to do the right thing.

Regulated private assurance is a key component of the ROF assurance framework.  Assurance schemes, such as the BRC Global Standard, are just one of many data sources being considered under the model. 

Primary Authority National Inspection Strategy -Feasibility study 

We published a ROF feasibility study which looks at how the Primary Authority scheme, in particular National Inspection Strategies, can play a role in the future regulation of food businesses.

The results from the study will help us in developing a new standard for primary authorities wishing to establish national inspection strategies for food. 

Audit data and food safety requirements 

We published the findings from two projects which looked at whether audit data collected by food businesses could be used by local authorities to check food hygiene standards and decide ratings. 

From September to December 2016, we worked with Tesco, Mitchells & Butlers, their audit providers and local authorities. We wanted to test the companies’ assurance data against the food safety requirements which local authorities use to check food businesses are compliant. 

Cost of Food Standards Agency regulation and Food Law to the UK food industry 

As part of our work to modernise the food regulatory regime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland we must consider the costs of operating the current system – the baseline cost - and the financial impact of any potential changes.
  
We commissioned a study to develop a better understanding of the financial and time-related costs for food businesses who comply with food law. We also wanted to understand the costs associated with the regulatory system. 

The analysis and estimates were collected through a survey and interviews. The findings will help inform our baseline estimates of the costs of regulation as a whole.

Taunton Dean Borough Council, West Somerset Council and Scoresafe - Feasibility study 

We’ve published a ROF feasibility study which looks at the process of registering food businesses with the use of digital technology.  The study aimed to take on board fresh ideas around food business registration, understand best practice and lessons learned in this area, and to enable the development of the best possible regulatory model for food.

The results from the study will help us further develop the digitally enabled service for food business registration.