To consider the draft Service Plan for Food Law Enforcement 2022-23.
Contact:Claudia Deeth - (01480) 388233
Consideration was given to a report by the Interim Community Services Manager (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) to which was attached a draft Service Plan for Food Law Enforcement for 2022-23.
The Committee were reminded that the District Council has responsibility for most food safety and hygiene enforcement functions within the District. As such, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) requires every local authority to outline how it will fulfil its duty to deliver food controls in the form of a Service Plan, specifying how and at what level the official controls with be delivered.
Having been reminded of the impact of Covid 19 on the service during the previous two years, the Committees’ attention was drawn to the objectives which contribute to the overall aim of the proposed Plan for 2022-23. Members were pleased to note that a balanced programme of work was proposed which incorporated a full range of official controls, together with the recovery plan implemented to address the backlog of food inspections created by Covid 19. Attention was also drawn to the planned developments for the service over the course of the coming year.
In reviewing the information provided, clarification was sought with regard to the fluctuations in the numbers of food businesses by type operating within Huntingdonshire in comparison to the previous year and the Environmental Health Team Leader undertook to circulate a further breakdown to Committee members outside of the meeting. Comments and questions were also raised and answered with regards to the hybrid working practices and the monitoring of officers’ ability to work efficiently and agilely.
With regards to the proposed Development Plan for 2022/23, the Committee noted that it was hoped to investigate the viability and demand for the reinstatement of classroom-based training courses to help businesses comply with food hygiene requirements during the course of the year. It may also be possible to deliver these within local communities. Members noted that the delivery of such courses provided a possible income stream for the Council.
Comment was also made with regards to the ongoing issues with reporting and accuracy with data being migrated to the new Environmental Health and Licensing Management system and the Committee were advised that work was ongoing to embed the system more fully into everyday work and to get more from the system.
In response to a question regarding the impact of Brexit on food producers within the District, the Committee were advised that as yet there had been no increased demand for export certificates to the EU since Brexit. This was a result of the low number of manufacturers and the absence of any businesses which fall under the remit of the local authority for the export of meat / meat products. In addition, some of the controls due to be implemented have been postponed.
Whereupon it was
(a) that the Service Plan for Food Law Enforcement 2022-23 be approved in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
(b) that the Interim Community Service Manager be authorised to update the 2021-22 performance data within the Service Plan prior to publication.
(c) that quarterly reports be requested to monitor progress against the Service Plan