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Ensuring food safety and standards

Failures in food safety can have catastrophic consequences for human life, public confidence and the wider economy. People can fall ill if they eat food contaminated by bacteria as a result of poor food hygiene, or if they eat food that is not what it says it is.

This report focuses on the effectiveness of the current regulatory arrangements to ensure that food is safe to eat and is what it says it is. It builds on our October 2013 report on food safety and authenticity in the processed meat supply chain, and examines:

  • the extent to which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authorities identify the areas of highest risk to food consumers and make effective use of resources.
  • whether the FSA has evidence that the regulatory system is effective in achieving outcomes and driving performance improvements.
  • whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the FSA have established a coherent and coordinated regulatory regime that can adapt to current and emerging challenges.