4th February 2016
Budget cuts at the Food Standards Agency and local authorities mean change is afoot, reports Michelle Perrett.
The latest round of savage budget cuts imposed by the government on both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authorities (LAs) could have a seriously damaging impact on their ability to ensure high levels of food safety and hygiene are maintained across the food business operations (FBOs) in the UK.
Chancellor George Osborne’s spending review, published in November, confirmed the FSA budget would be frozen at £85.4M a year until 2020. This equates to a cut in real terms of £6M or 7% to its budget during that period. And this is not the first budget cut the food regulator has seen. Its government funding fell by £22M from 2013 – at the time of the horsemeat scandal – to the end of 2015/16.
The FSA will have to review what activities it can continue to carry out and how it delivers on them. Combined with the swingeing cuts on local authorities that enforce the food regulations, as well as dramatic slashing to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA’s) budget, it threatens devastating consequences for food safety.
You can read the full article HERE
Food Labelling Services comments:
It is not only food safety that will be affected by these budget cuts. We have had several clients request advice and information on food labelling, as they cannot get any help from Trading Standards or Environmental Health. We are always willing to help, and will respond as promptly as possible, with simple, accurate advice.