Food Safety

Defra issues draft guidance on food labelling regulations

26 June 2014 - 4:19pm -- Gerry Danby
Allergen labelling non-prepacked food

The publication of the domestic regulations and guidance on the implementation of the food information to consumers Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 (the FIC Regulation) was expected much earlier this year. The general labelling requirements under the FIC Regulation will take effect on 13 December this year and food businesses are understandably anxious in the absence of certainty and clarity surrounding key aspects of the implementation of these provisions. Earlier this month, no doubt in recognition of the level of anxiety shown, Defra circulated a draft version of the guidance. The draft has not, however, been published or made available on the Defra web site and it adds some 16 pages to the guidance published in November 2012.

10 reasons to keep and nurture raw drinking milk

25 April 2014 - 10:30am -- Gerry Danby
The Moo Man

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) public consultation on the future availability of raw drinking milk comes to a close in a few days on 30 April. Artisan Food Law has covered many different issues surrounding raw milk over the last 12 months and more, so now seems a good time to bring some key ones together and provide, in no particular order, 10 good reasons for securing the future of raw milk.

A few days of the FSA’s public consultation remain. If you are one of the 77% of people who support the continued sale and availability of raw drinking milk, even if you would personally not choose to drink it, you have a brief opportunity left to let the FSA know. Simply send a note to Freddie Lachhman at the FSA, either by e-mail to RDM@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk or write to him at: Food Hygiene Policy, Food Standards Agency, 1st Floor, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6BH.

Make sure the message gets through by 30 April that raw drinking milk is here to stay and the choice whether to consume it must be one which is real and meaningful.

FSA publish updated Food Law Code of Practice

14 April 2014 - 11:34am -- Gerry Danby
The Food Law Code of Practice (England)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) publishes four food law codes of practice which are for use by the food authorities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. These are statutory codes of practice which, in England, is issued under section 40 of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

Food authorities are required have regard to the relevant code in the discharge of their duties or risk successful challenge to their decisions or actions, and evidence being ruled inadmissible by a court. It is, therefore, essential that food businesses are at least aware of their content in their dealings with local enforcement authorities. The codes for England and Wales have recently been updated and came into force on 6 April 2014, replacing earlier versions dated April 2012.

The Future of Raw Milk Regulation – more restrictions or freedom of choice?

6 April 2014 - 12:02pm -- Gerry Danby
Fen Farm Dairy and Hook & Son raw milk

On 31 March the Food Standards Agency (FSA) hosted an open meeting for anyone interested in the future of raw drinking milk. The FSA has been reviewing the regulations on raw milk for the last two years and this meeting was a part of the public consultation which runs until 30 April.

There have been no reported outbreaks of illness associated with raw drinking milk in the UK since 2002 while throughout this period well in excess of 10 million litres of raw drinking milk has been consumed. The absence of any reported outbreak is no accident or coincidence but a credit to the high standards of production applied by today’s raw milk producers. This formed the background to the discussion.

Let dairy farmers safely meet consumer demand for raw milk

12 March 2014 - 3:17pm -- Gerry Danby
Fen Farm Dairy's raw milk vending machine

Survey data commissioned by the Food Standards Agency revealed that 77% of those surveyed supported continued sales of raw drinking milk and while 20% expressed interest in buying or consuming raw milk only 3% do so regularly. In short there is significant unmet consumer demand which raw milk vending machines could do much to meet.

The FSA, however, has a problem with raw milk vending machines. “Selfridges' raw milk dispenser 'contravenes food hygiene regulations'” was the news headline back in December 2011 which broke shortly before the FSA decided, in March 2012, that it would undertake a review of the regulations governing the sale of raw drinking milk.

FSA launches long-awaited raw milk review – an informed choice?

3 February 2014 - 2:23pm -- Gerry Danby
Hook & Son - raw milk fresh from the farm direct to your door

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced the public consultation stage following a policy review of sales of raw drinking milk. The consultation pack which accompanied the announcement last Thursday, 30 January, extends to 191 pages of detailed information and sets out four options for the future. The good news is that the FSA has expressed a preference for continuing raw milk sales under the fourth of the following four options:

Option 1: Do nothing
Option 2: All milk to be pasteurised prior to sale
Option 3: Allow sales of raw drinking milk from all outlets
Option 4: Introduce measures to harmonise and clarify current controls.

In short, in a choice between the status quo, either extreme and somewhere in the middle, a whisker away from the status quo it is the last of these which is preferred by the FSA at this stage.

Davy’s put rare burgers back on the menu

13 January 2014 - 11:50am -- Gerry Danby
Davy's Wine Bars and Restaurants

Burgers cooked ‘as you like them’ are back on the menu at Davy’s Wine Bars and Restaurants after two years of legal wrangling with Westminster City Council. The Artisan Food Law Blog provided the background to this story back in December 2012 and we can now bring you up to date.

In July last year Davy’s secured the right to serve rare burgers and in a second case, heard on 17 December last month, Westminster offered no evidence and the prosecution was dropped. It is the reasoning of the court set out in the judgement handed down last July which provides interesting reading.

Raw milk sales ‘not in keeping with the spirit’ of the law?

25 October 2013 - 11:05am -- Gerry Danby
Organic Raw Milk from Emma's Dairy

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is about to embark on a review of controls over the availability of raw drinking milk which has grown and is growing in popularity. Recent sales of raw milk using a vending machine and online sales have been criticised by the FSA as ‘not in keeping with the spirit’ of the law. This is one issue likely to feature prominently in the review.

The FSA appears to be set on tightening up the law, which may well make it much harder to buy raw milk, but is the FSA’s view correct or misguided?

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