Tonight Catherine Brown from the Food Standards Agency is speaking at our annual meeting, these are some notes from her presentation:
What can/should we do?
It is everyone’s responsibility in the food chain to make sure it is safe and it is what it says it is and that they think about the wider issues that effect food – but at the very least it they should take seriously the responsibility if make sure food is safe.
The FSA should have key leadership role in regulation of this, it’s not the only thing we do but it’s important, and we do a lot of partnership working around this.
Food safety is a big issue as bad food can make people ill. So our approach has changed. we want to create an environment that makes suppliers really care that the food they produce is safe. That;s why we introduced supermarket league tables to promote safety etc.
What is the role of the consumer?
Consumers have a responsibility as well as rights – shoppers can take safe food from the shop and make it unsafe at home, but they should be able to expect that food is safe to begin with.
Although sometimes consumers feel powerless, but we need to empower them to step up and help us shape what the food sector should look like and we all need to understand what our own risks are to make informed choices.
There are some interesting things already happening to empower consumers. For instance allergic children and their parents. They are already very active and empowered to make sensible food choices.
Another example of empowered consumer are animals rights activists, those who also eat meat, who have made a big difference in animal welfare. Another is example is people buying sustainable fish. Both are examples of consumers making informed choices.