On 27 June 2022, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched an inaugural annual review of food standards across the UK. The report comes after the UK food system has faced two years of major upheaval following the UK’s departure from the EU, the significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently the disruption caused by the war in Ukraine.
Despite these significant pressures, the report concludes that food standards in the UK have largely been maintained, while warning of significant challenges ahead.
Two main concerns have been highlighted in the report. First, the fall in the level of local authority inspections of food businesses, which are being hampered by resourcing pressures faced by local authorities, despite some progress in getting inspections back on track. Secondly, the delay in establishing full UK import controls for high-risk food and feed from the EU, continues to reduce the ability to prevent the entry of unsafe food into the UK market.
The review was presented to all four UK parliaments or assemblies and is intended to be the first annual report looking at how food standards change over time, so that consumers and parliamentarians remain sighted on the changes and challenges to the food system and the evidence being shared with government decision makers.
Sources: FSS, 27 June 2022 and FSA, 27 June 2022