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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-of-food-and-animal-feed-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/food-and-feed-safety-risk-assessment-and-management-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
This guidance sets out how food and animal feed safety risks will be assessed and managed if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
Decisions about the safety of food, and feed risk assessment and management, ensure food and animal feed is safe from the perspective of human health in relation to chemical, microbiological, radiological and allergen risks including:
- genetically modified food and animal feed
- treatments to minimise dangerous organisms present in food including irradiation
- additives, flavourings and enzymes
- food contact material, which is a material or article intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food (for example, this would cover plastic, ceramics, wood, card, paper, food preparation areas, machinery etc)
- ‘novel foods’, which is food that does not have a significant history of consumption in the EU before 15 May 1997
How food and feed safety risks are assessed and managed now
Food and feed safety risk assessment is currently undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Risk management decisions are principally taken by the European institutions, in conjunction with member states.
Relevant EU legislation for this area is listed at the end of this guidance.
How food and feed safety risks will be assessed and managed if there’s a no-deal Brexit
The UK will maintain current standards that apply to food and feed safety when we leave the EU.
Applying for food and feed authorisations
There will be a UK application system for food and feed authorisations, independent from the EU, that would apply after Brexit.
This UK application process will be similar to the one operated by the EU at the moment, that organisations and businesses will be familiar with.
Risk assessments and risk management advice
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will conduct food and feed safety risk assessments.
Food safety authorities (the FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS)) will provide risk management advice and recommendations for food and feed safety to ministers. Health ministers will then take the final decisions based on the recommendation.
Responsibility for taking certain technical and routine food safety risk management decisions could be delegated to food safety authorities after Brexit. This would be subject to consultation.
Standards for food and feed safety
Consumers and businesses in the UK will continue to benefit from the same high standards for food and feed safety after the UK leaves the EU.
There will be a system in place to undertake robust scientific risk assessments and take evidence-based risk management decisions for future food and feed safety issues.
The principles of protecting public health and maintaining consumer confidence through openness and transparency will be at the core of this approach.
Relevant EU legislation
Food and feed law (food and feed safety and hygiene)
- Regulation (EC) 178/2002 – general food law
- Regulation (EC) 852/2004 – hygiene of foodstuffs
- Regulation (EC) 853/2004 – specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin
- Regulation (EC) 183/2005 – feed hygiene
- Regulation (EC) 2074/2005 – implementing measures for certain products under Regulation (EC) 853/2005 and Regulation (EC) 882/2004
- Regulation (EC) 315/1993 – food contaminants
EU Commission consents/authorisations
- Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 – GM food/feed – authorisations and labelling
- Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 – novel food
- Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 – food additives
- Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 – food contact materials
- Regulation (EC) 2073/ 2005 – microbiological criteria
- Regulation (EC) 1831/2003 – feed additives
- Regulation (EC) 68/2013 – catalogue of feed materials
- Regulation (EC) 1332/2008 – food enzymes
- Regulation (EC) 1334/2008 – food flavourings
- Regulation (EC) 2065/2013 – smoke flavourings
Food and feed law enforcement (official controls)
- Regulation (EC) 882/2004 – official food and feed controls (also covers animal health and welfare – Defra lead)
- Regulations (EC) 854/2004 – specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption
- Regulation (EC) 669/2009 – specific high-risk products of non-animal origin
Food and feed labelling (Defra, DHSC and FSA all have responsibilities for different parts)
- Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 – on the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the traceability of GM food and feed products
- Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 – provision of food information to consumers (FIC)
- Regulation 767/2009 – placing on the market and the use of feed.
Subsidiary EU regulations and any other identified EU regulations or national regulations implementing EU directives that require amendment to operate effectively after Brexit or to correct any other deficiency will also be included as appropriate.