Reporting incidents key for future

Food business operators need to make reporting incidents a top priority, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said after publishing its third Annual Report of Incidents.

The FSA handled 1,298 investigations into food incidents in 2008, including the contamination of dioxins in pork, and used the information from its new enhanced online incident report, made available to local authorities last year.

SA chief scientist and director of food safety Andrew Wadge said: “This report shows how we responded to incidents in 2008 to ensure that consumers were protected. It stresses the importance of partnership working and encourages more comprehensive reporting. A robust and efficient incident handling system is in all our interests. By working together, we can secure further improvements to that system.”

Last year also coincided with the publishing of an incident prevention strategy by the FSA to help reduce the impact of food safety incidents.

The Agency added that collaborative work with industry would be key to root out incidents and produce best-practice guides to further target incident prevention work.

An incident is defined by the FSA as either an incident involving contamination of food or animal feed in the processing, distribution, retail and catering chains or an environmental pollution incident such as a fire.

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