How we work
The FSA provides advice and information to the public and Government on food safety from farm to fork, nutrition and diet. It also protects consumers through effective food enforcement and monitoring.
What we do:
As a Government department, independent regulator and consumer protection body, we use the best available evidence and work with:
- Business from farm to fork to help them keep consumers safe
- Local authorities and other food law enforcement bodies to help them take proportionate, timely and resolute action
- Consumers to provide reliable and up to date information to help them make healthy choices about food
Everything we do reflects our vision of Safe food and healthy eating for all
- putting the consumer first
- openness and independence
- Science and evidence-based
Our principles in practice:
As an organisation, employer and as individuals we value:
- Honesty, objectivity and integrity
- Striving for continuous improvement, efficiency and effectiveness
- Diversity, cooperation and respect
Although the FSA is a Government agency, it works at 'arm's length' from Government because it doesn't report to a specific minister and is free to publish any advice it issues.
The Agency is led by a Board that has been appointed to act in the public interest and not to represent particular sectors. Board members have a wide range of relevant skills and experience.
Our UK headquarters are in London, but the Agency also has national offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Meat Hygiene Service is an Executive Agency of the Food Standards Agency.
We're accountable to Parliament through Health Ministers, and to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for its activities within their areas.
We base our decisions and advice on the best evidence available. And we aim to ensure that our decision-making process is as open and transparent in as possible.
Whenever possible, we seek the views of interested parties before reaching conclusions, and always explain the reasons for its decision and advice in a straightforward manner.
The Agency also obtains independent expert advice from its scientific advisory committees and commissions research to support its functions.
Our strategic plan 2005-10 has as its key aims:
- to continue to reduce foodborne illness
- to reduce further the risks to consumers from chemical contamination including radiological contamination of food
- to make it easier for all consumers to choose a healthy diet, and thereby improve quality of life by reducing diet-related disease
- to enable consumers to make informed choices