Artisan Food Law Blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
Does your website contain hypertext links to content available elsewhere on the web?
It has, until now, been a grey area whether including a link on a website to copyright protected content on a third party website was a breach of that copyright. This small but crucial aspect of intellectual property law has recently been the subject of judicial clarification.
Farmfoods frozen beef burgers carry both Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Scotch Beef’ assurance mark and the EU protected geographical indication (PGI) logo. Packs of 16 beef burgers are advertised at 4 for £10. That makes a ‘BEST SCOTCH BEEF’ burger cost 15.6p! A deal too good to be true? The Elliott Review, which looked at integrity and assurance in the food chain in the wake of horsegate, had illustrated how to produce a ‘gourmet’ burger for less than 30p and encouraged searching questions.
Farmfoods burgers may, as things stand, be made from Scotch Beef, but is it decent, honest and truthful to describe them as made from the ‘BEST SCOTCH BEEF’?
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.
Sorry Chobani, I always understood ‘Greek yoghurt’ came from Greece, that’s why we have ‘Greek style yoghurt’. Chobani’s views about what people think are, like its yoghurt, a US import.
FAGE began producing yoghurt in the late 1920s and since the mid-1980s has imported TOTAL yoghurt, the brand name used in the UK, from Greece. FAGE accounts for 95% of all Greek yoghurt sold in the UK. The remaining 5% being mainly Tesco and Asda own-label Greek yoghurt also imported from Greece. The widely available ‘Greek style yoghurts’ retail at a substantially cheaper price. FAGE sued newcomer Chobani for 'Greek yoghurt' made in the USA.