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Scottish councils are putting more resources into food safety enforcement than ever before. This is the key feature...
Scottish councils are putting more resources into food safety enforcement than ever before. This is the key feature to emerge from the third annual survey of the Scottish Food Co-ordinating Committee (SFCC).
The total number of staff employed to enforce the requirements of general food hygiene regulations in Scotland in 1990/00 was 241, compared to 164 in 1997/98.
Much of the additional staffing was due to additional funding provided to councils by central government for food safety enforcement work following the publication of the Pennington Group report into the Central Scotland e coli 0157 outbreak in 1996.
Commenting on the SFCC survey COSLA's consumer and protective services spokesperson Councillor Joe Fitzpatrick said: 'This is excellent news and just goes to show that when central government provides the resources Scottish councils can rise to the challenge and spend the money wisely.
'The SFCC survey shows clearly that the high level of food enforcement activity being carried out by councils has resulted in a reduced risk to the general public.
'It is also pleasing to see that businesses are rising to the challenge and are also putting their houses in order.'
Commenting for the SFCC, Crawford Morgan said: 'Today's third SFCC survey provides a useful snapshot around Scotland. It is encouraging that compliance in this area keeps improving year on year.'
Jeff Moon from the Food Standards Agency said: 'The SFCC surveys have shown a continued improvement in both food enforcement activities in high risk premises and food safety practices within food businesses. This is encouraging to the agency and good news for the Scottish consumer.'
The Scottish Food Co-ordinating Committee was set up in 1983 with the purpose of co-ordinating specific issues relevant to the enforcement of the Food & Drugs Scotland) Act 1956, and its successor, the Food Safety Act 1990.
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