Analysis by Environmental Health News, the trade magazine for health inspectors, reveals that seven councils are carrying out less than 80% of the required interventions. The decline in interventions may be attributed in part to a 17% fall in the numbers of environmental health inspectors, from 2,775 in 2010 to 2,303 last year.
In a letter to the chancellor, George Osborne, several leading food safety experts, including Professor Chris Elliott, the man who led the official review into the UK’s food supply chain following the horsemeat controversy, warn that “the regulatory system is under tremendous pressure as a result of increasing demands, such as the need to effectively address food fraud and the continuing public sector cuts”.
They note that since 2013, the year of the horsemeat crisis, the FSA has been asked to make £22m in savings, while councils are having to cut their environmental health budgets by about 20%. With further cuts to come, they warn that public health could be jeopardised.
“It is our view that such further budget cuts will decrease the effectiveness and resilience of the regulatory system, reduce consumer confidence in its ability to protect their health and risk undermining trust in the food safety standards of the UK food industry.”
Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/31/food-checks-health-concerns?platform=hootsuite