A supermarket worker stacks a fresh produce aisle

Food law shake-up reaches Wales

New FSA guidance promises to help “alleviate challenges" facing local authorities in food control
19 August 2021

FSA Wales has published a revised food law code of practice and food law practice guidance, and introduced a competency framework.

The code modernises the qualifications needed to undertake food control work, thereby extending the list of people able to do this work. The structure and format have been updated to improve consistency of interpretation and competency, now defined by activity rather than by role.

It also includes revisions brought about by the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625, that came into effect in December 2019, and EU exit implications.

A food law code of practice was consulted on in England and Northern Ireland in November last year and introduced in March this year. The CIEH said it felt “disappointed” that its concerns with some of the changes were not listened to.

Public Protection Wales wrote to the FSA in Wales in October 2020 urging them to postpone any consultation due to concerns stakeholders would be too tied up with pandemic work to comment.

FSA in Wales said the new code and framework would help “alleviate the challenges” facing local authorities in recruiting enough suitably qualified staff to carry out food controls.

Director of FSA in Wales, Nathan Barnhouse, added: “We recognise that local authorities and port health authorities need to target their skilled people where they are most needed, and we are committed to broad regulatory reform that assists in achieving this.

“The revised code, practice guidance and introduction of the competency framework will provide local authorities and port health authorities more flexibility to deploy key professionals and will enable them to recruit suitably qualified individuals to undertake specified activities, should they choose.”

Barnhouse said the code would be further reviewed in line with the FSA’s modernisation programme.

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