Food Hygiene

Mitchells & Butlers helping FSA develop Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Mitchells & Butlers helping FSA develop Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Related tags Food hygiene rating Food standards agency

Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) is testing the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) new food hygiene scheme, which aims to ease pressure on resource-strapped local authorities, improve food safety and adapt the current Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The ‘Regulating our Future’ initiative was launched by the FSA earlier this year in a bid to ensure food safety in the UK in response to limited local authority resources.

M&B, along with retailer Tesco, is involved in the six-month trial, which, if successful, could be extended to other venues early next year.

The focus of the project is to ensure safe and legal food-producing methods and to allow customers to read food hygiene information in a simple way.

‘A trial at the moment’

An FSA spokeswoman told The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​): “As this is a trial at the moment, unfortunately we can’t say more about it. Until the pilots are completed in January 2017, there’s nothing further we can add at this point.”

The MA ​tried to contact M&B, but no one was available at the time.

In a board meeting about the initiative​ on 21 September, the FSA outlined its ambitions for the project, which included developing and implementing a sustainable approach to regulation in the food sector.

“This programme will ensure a tailored and proportionate approach to regulation to ensure business compliance,” it said.

“One of the compelling drivers for designing a new regulatory system is the uncertain and rapidly changing world in which we operate, and its consequences for food safety and standards.”

‘Keep pace with innovation’

The new regulatory framework M&B will be testing has been designed to “keep pace with innovation” in the food sector by using new technologies.

It also aims to deliver a new regulatory model for food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2020, as well as implementing improvements to the current system and being flexible enough to adapt to “future circumstances”.

“The future of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is within the scope of the programme,” the FSA said.

“The new system for food safety and standards will need to be designed to allow the FHRS system to continue providing straightforward information to consumers. We are developing a full proposal for FHRS mandation in England based on the Regulating our Future principles.”

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