Response of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) to the Which? Report into consumer-focused food law enforcement

Publication Date: 15th January 2014

Subject: Food safety

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health today welcomed the research from Which? but called for mandatory display of scores from the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme as an essential component in delivering improved hygiene standards.

Commenting, Jenny Morris, CIEH Principal Food Policy Officer, said:

“It is only the food business that can make sure that food is safe day in and day out but local authorities have a duty to ensure that food businesses are complying with the law. We recognise that there is huge variation in food enforcement across the country and believe that the picture will continue to change fast. As a consequence urgent action is needed to ensure there are adequate levels of consumer protection everywhere”

Ms Morris pointed out that environmental teams at local authorities are focused on public protection and are good at innovation and making the most of limited resources. However, as budgets continue to be cut some things may not be done.

Continuing, Jenny Morris, said:

“Mandatory display of scores should apply across all counties of the United Kingdom, as it now is in Wales, if consumers are to be equally informed and protected. It seems inherently unfair if English consumers are not allowed this benefit and additionally it does not provide a level playing field for businesses across the UK.”

Ms Morris believes that a risk-based, intelligence-led approach must be the way forward. This needs to be with public and private sectors working together, with appropriate checks and balances to ensure independence of enforcement. Suitable sanctions and incentives for compliance are key components of an effective enforcement framework.

Concluding Jenny Morris said:

“Ultimately, what gets done will depend on the resources made available and the expertise and competence of food safety and standards professionals in all sectors. Without these consumer protection levels must be expected to diminish.”


Notes to editors: 

  • The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 10,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved
  • The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is a leading provider of accredited qualifications in health and safety, food safety, environmental protection, fire safety and first aid and operates in 50 countries. Over 10 million people around the world from the UK to the USA and the Middle East hold a CIEH qualification
  • The CIEH’s clients range from small businesses to multinational enterprises like the Intercontinental Hotel Group. We work with governmental bodies in Hong Kong as well as international agencies like the United Nations
  • The CIEH’s 60 qualification training programmes are delivered through a network of over 10,000 registered trainers. The training is developed for the varied skill levels within organisations. They cater to different learning styles and preferences through a series of flexible structures. CIEH qualifications are valued and recognised throughout the world
  • For more information about the CIEH visit 
  • For CIEH media enquiries, please contact Brian Cowan on 020 7827 5922 or 07752 478549


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