Investigating and managing incidents to ensure food safety is a key part of the work of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA publishes the Incident Response Protocol1 which defines a food incident as follows:
An incident is any event where, based on the information available, there are concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food and/or feed that could require intervention to protect consumers’ interests.2
The framework for the investigation, management and response to food and feed incidents comprises a number of key components:
The framework provided by the Food Law Code of Practice (England), Incident Response Protocol, Principles for preventing and responding to food incidents4 and the Feed Law Enforcement Code of Practice (Great Britain).5
The arrangements at an EU and UK level for warning systems to notify any problems with the safety of food or feed.
The ability of the EU and Parliament to legislate in the case of specific emergencies.
The EU and UK plans for the management of crises.
2 Ibid., para 1.0
4 Food Standards Agency, Principles for Preventing and Responding to Food Incidents, March 2007