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ONLINE FORUM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTIONERS

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The Food Standards Agency is piloting a new online forum for environmental health practitioners (EHPs)....
The Food Standards Agency is piloting a new online forum for environmental health practitioners (EHPs).

The forum comes hot on the heels of the highly successful launch in September 2005 of the agency's Safer food, better business (SFBB) pack for caterers and associated toolkit for local authorities, aimed at supporting environmental health practitioners to advise food businesses to operate effective food safety management procedures.

The forum, available here, will go live on 2 May and will run as a pilot for several weeks. During this time EHPs are being encouraged to take time out to log on and share their experiences of using the SFBB toolkit. The forum will also provide a platform to share experiences and learn from others in the same profession.

Comments received from users of the forum will also provide the FSA with valuable first hand feedback on the SFBB initiative and how the Agency can develop the caterer's pack and local authority toolkit to ensure they continue to meet the needs of both audiences.

Julian Blackburn, head of FSA's Food Safety Management Implementation Branch said:

'The FSA is committed to supporting local authorities and has worked alongside EHPs to produce the SFBB pack and toolkit. We have already received feedback and have acted on this to make sure it works in practice. We hope the forum will provide the opportunity for us to further develop SFBB and also encourage key stakeholders to share their knowledge.'

The forum is being piloted as part of the 'Digital Dialogues' project run by the Hansard Society on behalf of the Department of Constitutional Affairs. The project is being run to establish how new technologies can be used to improve communication and encourage engagement between central Government and stakeholders. Further information about Digital Dialogues can be found at http:www.hansardsociety.org.uk/programmes/e-democracy/digital_dialogues.

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