FSA launches food safety offences map

Food businesses that have been prosecuted for food safety offences can now expect to see their details flagged up on a new national database and map from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The database gives details of local authority food hygiene and food safety prosecutions, outlining where and how food businesses have breached regulations. This data is supplied on a voluntary basis by local authority officers. The new map is being published to highlight the number and type of successful fines levied.

“We want businesses to understand how important it is not to flout the rules, which are there to protect public health,” said Rod Ainsworth, director of regulatory and legal strategy at the FSA. “If they do, then both we and local authorities will take action against them. Publication of this information also lets local authorities share intelligence to get a better understanding of where and how food hygiene and safety breaches occur.

“This information will also be useful to consumers and businesses when choosing suppliers. General food law is there to keep consumers safe. Like our food hygiene rating scheme, we want the prosecutions database to empower consumers and businesses alike to vote with their feet and avoid those that are not following rules.”

From information going back to 1 April this year, there have been, as of today, a total of 419 prosecutions. Just over one in four food law breaches (26%) related to cleaning offences, where food enforcement officers found there was a failure by businesses to keep premises or equipment clean. Other common food law breaches included unfit food on premises, a lack of hand washing facilities, as well as food safety training and pest control issues.

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