Beefed up Food Standards Agency would ‘boost safety’

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food standards agency Nutrition

A beefed up Food Standards Agency (FSA) – will full powers restored to oversee food standards, hygiene and safety – is the centre piece of consumer pressure group Which?’s wish list from the next government.

Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies explained why the move would enhance food safety in this exclusive video interview filmed at the Institute of Food Science & Technology’s spring conference in London last Thursday (April 23).

“Consumers would be better served if the FSA had responsibility for food standards as well as food safety policy and worked closely with Food Standards Scotland,”​ Davies told

‘Strong, independent Food Standards Agency’

“We think it is fundamental there is a strong, independent Food Standards Agency that is there to put consumers’ interests first.”  

Also on the consumer group’s wishlist from the next government were: national strategy for food production, measures to tackle obesity and diet-related disease, easier food comparisons and clear country of origin labelling on meat and meat products. See more information about the wish list in the box below.

Campylobacter infections

In a wide ranging interview, Davies also urged more effective action to remedy the UK’s number one cause of food poisoning campylobacter infections.

Retailers again failed to reach targets for campylobacter contamination in fresh-shop bought chickens, according to the latest FSA survey results published in February. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of whole raw chickens tested postiive for the pathogen, according to the results which draws on nine months of testing figures. 

Read more about Which?’s wishlist here​.

Which? food wishlist

  • “Involve consumers in developing a national strategy for the future of our food production, ensuring that consumer views and interests are central to decision making, including where new technologies and techniques may be introduced.
  • “Lead initiatives to tackle rates of obesity and diet-related disease, including ensuring more responsible promotions, industry-wide take up of traffic light nutrition labelling and reducing unacceptable levels of fat, sugar and salt in foods.
  • “Make it easier for shoppers to compare the price of food products by simplifying the way that unit pricing is displayed, reforming price marking legislation. The government must also ensure that the rules on pricing practices are up to date and effectively enforced, so that consumers can have confidence that products marked as special offers genuinely offer better value for money.
  • “Enable people to make more informed food choices by requiring clear, user-friendly country of origin labelling on meat and meat products.
  • “Maintain strong, independent national food standards agencies, that are real consumer champions and can lead law enforcement efforts to stop food fraud, improve safety and tackle unhealthy practices. This will also protect the international reputation of the food industry.”

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