Food safety law and regulatory framework for artisan and small scale producers. Injurious food, inspection, detention, seizure, additives, alerts, recalls.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the European Union’s independent scientific adviser on food safety and hygiene.

Against the background of a rise in the popularity of eating well-aged meats, EFSA has recently published a scientific opinion on the safety of ageing meat and concluded that meat aged under controlled conditions poses no additional risk compared to fresh meat.

Many may have recently noticed reports of a speech made by Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at the University of Oxford and boss at the Food Standards Agency.

The bit that caught the headlines was the claim that bringing cake into the office is as harmful as subjecting your colleagues to passive smoking.

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill currently before Parliament is due to have its report stage and third reading on a date yet to be announced.

The Bill will impose a sunset clause on retained EU law with the effect that it will cease to exist after 31 December 2023. If this is not to happen domestic legislation will need to be put in place, but the scale of this task, there are at least 2,417 pieces of retained EU law, in the time available makes this exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

The number of dairy farms producing raw drinking milk for direct sale to consumers has grown from 114 in 2017 t0 166, a rise of 46% over the last two years.

It is against this background that the Raw Milk Producers Association (RMPA) was launched on 4 March by a group of dairy farmers currently producing and selling raw drinking milk direct to consumers. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has for some time planned to tighten controls over the sale of raw drinking milk which makes this a timely collaboration between producers who, working with the FSA, can ensure any new controls are reasonable and proportionate.

The foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in 2001 witnessed the slaughter of millions of animals and horrific images of burning pyres of dead livestock across the British countryside that will be etched on the memories of many for decades to come. Official figures put the cost of the outbreak at over £8 billion.

The Scottish Government is calling for UK flour to be fortified with synthetic folic acid in order to reduce birth defects, especially neural tube conditions such as spina bifida. The UK government is still considering its position after positive recommendations from its advisors, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

Comparisons can be fraught with difficulty, but all food carries some degree of risk and all risks are relative. Supermarket chicken and raw drinking milk are two foods in the news headlines recently, how do they compare?

The British Poultry Council estimates that in 2013 about 870 million chickens were bred, hatched, reared, and slaughtered in the UK and the equivalent of another 400 million birds were imported, mainly from Europe. A total of 1,270 million.

A seemingly innocuous discussion paper was presented to the Board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) early last November. ‘Our Approach to “Risky” Foods’ set out a significant new approach to the management of so-called ‘risky’ foods.

Since it marked a starting point many may think it best to get off on the right foot. Steve Wearne, Director of Policy and author of the discussion paper, apologised at the outset for not being clear in the title of the paper about what he was talking about but denied any intention to demonise any food.