Response to the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) welcomes the publication today of the Elliott Review but remains concerned that ongoing budget cuts will compromise the effectiveness of local government to support food crime prevention.
CIEH chief executive, Graham Jukes, OBE said: “Our professional members work in business and all other sectors not just local government but local government plays a vital role in the cross-sectoral support required to address the issue highlighted by the Elliott Review and we do have concerns about the capacity to address this important issue.”
“There is a clear need for specialist support in tackling food crime and the CIEH agrees with Professor Elliott’s recommendation that a national Food Crime Unit be established. The new National Environmental Health Board, chaired by Lord Rooker former Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), working with the CIEH, can support coordinated action on the ground.”
The CIEH is pleased to note that Professor Elliott is clear that consumer protection must always be the main objective and that a precautionary approach should be taken, considering any food crime incident as a risk to public health, until proven otherwise.
Principal policy officer, Jenny Morris, MBE said: “A key theme throughout the report is the need for professional collaboration and partnerships if criminals are to be defeated. This means sharing knowledge and skills and developing trust across sectors. Such a collaborative approach to addressing challenges underpins the recent development, by the CIEH, of the Institute of Food Safety, Integrity Protection (IFSIP). Its objective is to build professional understanding and encourage innovative problem solving across public and private sectors.”
Mr Jukes concluded: “To date the FSA has proven an effective, independent body in ensuring consumer protection and co-ordinating and supporting local enforcement activities. Given the reduction in resources at a local level it is essential that this support increases and that there is clear leadership in tackling food crime. The CIEH is a well-placed organisation to drive this and looks forward to contributing to the fight against food crime.”