Rooker to step down as FSA chair

Jeff Rooker has confirmed that he will step down as chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in July 2013.

Rooker, who joined the FSA on a four year contract in July 2009, said he had enjoyed his time at the Agency, but would be stepping down from his post when his contract ends.

Describing the FSA as an “excellent organisation”, Rooker said he was particularly proud that it had stayed true to its principles of basing its decisions on sound science and putting consumers first.

“The FSA is an excellent organisation staffed by people who are passionate about food safety. We work with a range of stakeholders across all four nations who share that passion and that makes the role of chair a fascinating one,” he said.

He said that one major priority for the next seven months would be encouraging the adoption of the Food Hygiene Rating scheme (FHRS) across all local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the adoption of the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) by authorities in Scotland.

“We have made incredible progress in getting local authorities signed up to these schemes and it gives me great pleasure to see the distinctive stickers proudly on display the length and breadth of the land. I’d also like to press the argument that the display of FHRS/FHIS ratings should be made mandatory, as it is likely to be in Wales from 2013,” he said.

He added that his second priority would be working closely with the Scottish Government on the new food body for Scotland and ensuring that “the interests of consumers in Scotland continue to be protected during the transition”.

The FSA said that the details of the recruitment process to find a new chair would be published in the New Year.

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