Skip to main content

Greater transparency needed in UK food safety framework

21 January 2021

The Common Framework Scrutiny Committee has written to Emily Miles, CEO of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), with its concluding thoughts on the Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene (FFSH) Provisional Framework. While the Committee welcomes many aspects, it makes three specific recommendations for improving the framework.

Background information

The Committee began its consideration of the Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene (FFSH) Framework Summary in October 2020, and commenced its formal scrutiny of the Provisional Framework following its publication on 27 November. This seeks to create a UK-wide food safety regime overseen by the FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) as a replacement for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Throughout the scrutiny process, the Committee has been engaged in correspondence with the FSA and has sought clarity and further information on the framework. In its conclusions, the Committee welcomes the clear structure of the Provisional Framework but makes three specific recommendations for how it should be improved:

  • The commitment to publish an annual report reviewing the framework should be clearly stated in the framework itself and shared with relevant parliamentary committees across the UK
  • The FSA should produce an assessment of the degree of divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and the associated costs of this for businesses, in consultation with stakeholders
  • The framework should clearly state when it will seek to invite the Secretary of State to use the powers granted by the UK Internal Market Act to provide exemptions from the market access principles, both in areas of previous flexibility under EU law and possible future divergence

Further information