New food standards report warns of challenges ahead

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Results revealed: the report found while there were significant pressures during the past two years, UK food standards were largely maintained
Results revealed: the report found while there were significant pressures during the past two years, UK food standards were largely maintained

Related tags: Food, Hygiene + cleaning, Gastropub, Chef

An assessment into food standards across the nation has warned of challenges ahead to maintain levels.

The report – Our Food: An annual review of food standards across the UK ​– was launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

It was described as a ‘timely assessment of the state of the nation’s plate’ and is the first of a series of reports, set to be published annually.

The report concluded that while there have been significant pressures amid the past two years, the food standards in the UK have largely been maintained.

However, while there was no evidence of a drop in standards, the report did warn of challenges ahead.

Concerns pinpointed

One of the main concerns highlighted was the fall in the number of inspections of food companies as a result of the resourcing pressures faced by local authorities.

Another was the delay in establishing full UK imports control for high-risk food and feed from the EU, which it stated had reduced the ability to prevent the entry of unsafe food into the UK market.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said food safety was a key element of the trade body’s agenda.

She added: “Although our industry faced numerous challenges during Covid, serving our customers safe and healthy food always remained a priority.

“Indeed, it was during the difficult past two years the hospitality sector implemented two major pieces of food labelling legislation – Natasha’s Law allergen labelling and in England, menu calorie labelling.

“We’re delighted therefore, this new report reveals allergen-related incidents have fallen by nearly a quarter compared to 2019.”

Working together

Nicholls said this reflected the fact many companies were closed for part of this period but also illustrated the sector was stepping up in this area and recognises the continued and ongoing importance of communicating allergen information.

“We’re so pleased to see 97% of food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 94% in Scotland, received a satisfactory or higher rating under the Food Hygiene Rating schemes and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, three quarters of food businesses received the highest rating,” she added.

“UKH will continue to work closely with the FSA and FSS to maintain and improve the high food standards that exist in hospitality.”

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