FSA gives green light to new audit scheme

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) approved plans for a new audit system at last week’s board meeting.

The system will come into force in meat plants from August of this year. The key areas of change are that “appropriately skilled” auditors, independent of the day-to-day official controls within plants, will carry out Food Business Operator (FBO) audits, while a team of 22 dedicated auditors will replace the former team of 300 part-timers.

An FSA spokesperson said: “The changes were subject to a UK-wide consultation and industry stakeholders have made a positive contribution to the development of the new system, which will significantly improve the transparency and consistency of audits and ultimately help us to effectively protect consumers.”

Stephen Rossides, director of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), said: “The BMPA welcomes the new audit system that comes into operation on 11 August. This is the outcome of positive and constructive partnership working with the FSA. The new system introduces more risk-based frequency of audits, greater clarity and consistency in audit reporting, simplified compliance and non-compliance ratings, and greater independence in the conduct of audits by establishing a dedicated and trained FSA team of internal auditors.”

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