To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Jacqui Bromilow (01296) 585498
Under European food law the Food Standards Agency (FSA) was deemed to be the competent authority. To ensure these powers were exercised consistently across the country by local authorities, the FSA had developed a framework agreement, part of which included the production by each local authority of a food service plan.
Service plans were seen as an important part of the process to ensure that national priorities and standards were addressed and delivered locally. The details to be contained in the plan were specified by the FSA. Plans had to contain the following information:-
· Service Aims and Objectives.
· Service Delivery.
· Quality Assessment.
The Committee received a report which contained the Food Service Plan for 2019/20. Key features of the plan included:-
· There were 1,690 registered food businesses in Aylesbury Vale (this was 108 fewer premises than 2018/19, partially due to the work undertaken in checking and removing businesses that had closed).
· Premises were given a risk rating from A to E. Resources were targeted to ensure higher risk premises (A, B, Non-compliant C and Unrated) were inspected in accordance with the FSA Code of Practice.
· The number of premises that were deemed to be ‘broadly compliant’ with the law was 97.81%.
· In 2018/19 AVDC achieved 92.9% of programmed interventions with 100% of premises inspections rated A- non compliant C were completed.
· The backlog of unrated inspections from the previous year had been reduced and was 37.
The report also highlighted areas of improvement or exploration to improve efficiency and to ensure AVDC was offering the best service to customers. The Cabinet Member was in attendance and endorsed the work carried out to formulate the plan.
Following the report’s introduction, Members had further questions and were informed:-
(i) that there was not a direct correlation between the risk ratings (A-E) given to premises to ensure higher risk premises were inspected in accordance with the FSA Code of Practice, and the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that gave each business a rating of 0-5 based on how well it met the requirements of food hygiene following an inspection by a food safety officer.
(ii) with an explanation of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and some of the factors that were considered during inspection visits. If there were particular issues then an officer might re-visit a business to ensure that improvements had been made although the FHRS rating would not be updated until after the next inspection visit, unless specifically requested by the premises.
(iii) with an update on the Council’s Food Business Advice Service.
(iv) that businesses didn’t have to display their FHRS rating on site, although they were published on a national website.
(v) on the planning that the team had done in preparation for Brexit, including with some local businesses that would be most impacted. Health certificates were not currently required for moving animal products within Europe although it was possible that new requirements would need to be complied with post-Brexit.
(vi) that it was unfortunate that the Bucks Herald had recently published an article commenting on the Council’s Food Service team’s capacity and resilience that had been incorrect and inaccurate.
That the contents of the 2019-20 Food Service Plan be noted and comments passed to the Cabinet Member.