The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published a Post-Implementation Review of the 2013 Food Safety Sampling and Qualifications Regulations (S&Q Regulations), fulfilling a federal requirement to review English regulations and publish conclusions within five years of legislation coming into force, and every five years subsequently. The report, including proposals drawn from its conclusions, are available for public comment until June 23, 2023.
The 2013 S&Q Regulations came into effect on April 6, 2013 and support the UK Food Safety Act of 1990 that details how authorized officers of local authorities should submit samples for chemical analysis to public analysts or for microbiological examinations to food examiners. The S&Q Regulations also support the Official Controls Regulation 2017/625, retained from the EU, which provides a legislative framework on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health, and plant protection products.
The present review assesses the effect of the 2013 S&Q Regulations since the 2018 review was conducted. The review collates the views of key stakeholders, as well as costs and benefits outlined in an associated impact assessment. Evidence was obtained from targeted engagement with key stakeholders including enforcement authorities, official laboratories, the Government Chemist, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and others.
The review concluded that the 2013 S&Q Regulations continue to meet its objectives, and remains relevant and valid.
FSA proposes no major changes to the 2013 S&Q Regulations, and states that, where minor amendments may be recommended, all stakeholders were in support. One such recommendation is to change the wording on certificates of analysis to “laboratory of employment” rather than “place” due to increased employment. Also suggested is further clarification of the process for recognizing equivalent qualifications in the 2013 S&Q Regulations or the UK Food Law Code of Practice to address a discrepancy between the Public Analyst and Food Examiner qualification requirements.