Provisional UK Common Framework on Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene (FFSH)

Background

Existing food and feed safety and hygiene regulations fall within the following key areas: 

> General principles and requirements of food and feed safety and hygiene;
> Food and feed law enforcement (official controls);
> Food safety labelling;
> Risk analysis; and
> Incident handling. 

The primary focus of the FFSH Framework is to set out how the four UK countries will work together to develop UK FFSH policy in areas previously harmonised at EU level. 

The FFSH Framework will apply to retained EU food and feed safety and hygiene legislation. 

It has been agreed that the following areas should be in-scope of the FFSH Framework: 

> General Food and Feed Law and Hygiene;
> Food and Feed Safety Standards;
> Official Controls for Food and Feed; and 
> Public Health Controls on Imported Food and Feed. 

The Committee received a letter from Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing which shares the provisional UK Common Framework on Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene.  The letter requests the Committee provide its commentary on the provisional Framework. 

Following receipt of the letter, the Convener wrote to the Minister regarding the expected timescale for the Committee's scrutiny of the provisional Framework.

Committee approach 

To inform the Committee’s consideration of the Provisional UK Common Framework on Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene it is seeking written views on the following questions:

> What involvement have stakeholders had in the development of this Common Framework?

> As we leave the EU, are you reassured that we have the scientific capability within the UK to underpin all these frameworks, ad to represent our interests to the WTO Sanitary and Pytosanitary (SPS) committee?

> Is it clear how this framework links with others in the food and feed safety policy area?

> Do you feel that the Common Framework is fit for purpose?

> What are the threats and opportunities of such an approach?

> Are there opportunities in this Framework to improve public health in Scotland?

> Does the Framework make the regulatory landscape in this area more or less understandable/workable?

> Do you have any views on the dispute resolution mechanism?

> Any other observations. 

The call for written views closed on Tuesday 12 January 2021. 

The Committee also agreed to hold an evidence session with stakeholders on 19 January 2021 and the Minister for Public Health and Sport on 26 January 2021. 

Ahead of the evidence session on 19 January, we received a written submission from Professor Paul Haggarty of The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen on behalf of SEFARI (Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes). 

Ahead of the evidence session on 26 January, the Convener issued a letter to the Minister for Public Health and Sport.

The Convener received a response on 18 January 2021.

Evidence sessions 

 Date  Evidence session 
 19 January 2021  Stakeholders
 26 January 2021  Scottish Government and Food Standards Scotland

19 January 2021 - Meeting papers:

26 January 2021 - Meeting papers:

Following the evidence session with the Minister on 26 January, the Convener issued a follow-up letter: 

A copy of the above letter was also sent to the other four UK legislatures for information:

The Convener received a response from the Minister for Public Health and Sport on 5 March 2021.

The Convener received a copy of a letter issued to the Minister for Health and Social Services from David Rees MS, Chair of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, Senedd Cymru on 22 March 2021. 

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