“The FSA puts forward its priorities and local authorities bid to undertake work they feel is relevant,” explains Susan Harvey, Kent’s trading standards department’s lead officer for food and agriculture.
Kent worked with other trading standards departments in the south-east on a joint bid to carry out the work. Although the department had reduced its own food sampling budget, this work was paid for by the FSA , which also paid some of the consortium’s costs.
“The councils feed back their results to the FSA, which then gets a real idea of any issues,” says Ms Harvey. “The FSA supplement the results with information from their own scientific branches and other EU member states.”
Kent has also worked with the FSA on its national healthy eating initiative. “The FSA identified priorities such as targeting children, and we then went into schools to promote messages such as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” explains Ms Harvey. “The work was evaluated to be successful and as a result the messages are now on the national food vision website.”
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