The Food Hygiene (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
Friday 16 December 2011
The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland is seeking views on current draft of the Food Hygiene (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, which is due to come into force in April 2012, noting in particular the 'ambulatory reference' and the health mark for meat from animals subject to 'emergency slaughter'.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland
10 a-c Clarendon Road
Tel: 02890 417761
Fax: 02890 417726
Responses are requested by: 24 February 2012
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Border inspection posts, businesses importing food, the farmed game industry and veterinarians working with the farmed game industry.
What is the subject of this consultation?
i) Draft of the Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 which:
- give effect to recent EU food hygiene legislation
- provide for an ‘ambulatory reference’ that will automatically give effect to certain changes to the technical annexes of EU food regulations in future
- provide a special health mark to be applied to emergency slaughtered animals or their carcases
ii) Impact assessments on recent EU Regulations and a proposed EU Regulation
What is the purpose of this consultation?
i) to let stakeholders comment on the current draft of the Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, due to come into operation in April 2012, noting in particular the ‘ambulatory reference’ and the health mark for meat from animals subject to ‘emergency slaughter’
ii) to ask stakeholders for comments on the FSA’s assessment of the impact of two areas of change to EU food hygiene legislation, relating to the import of composite products and the certification of farmed game as set out in two impact assessments
iii) to ask stakeholders to indicate whether an impact assessment should be undertaken on any of the other changes to food hygiene legislation that are covered by this consultation
iv) to otherwise raise awareness among stakeholders about new and proposed EU legislation
The principal EU regulations covering food hygiene1 are amended on a regular basis by other EU regulations. While EU food hygiene Regulations apply directly in the UK, it is necessary for each country of the UK to make national law in the form of a Statutory Rule (SR) to enable full application of the EU Regulations (e.g. to provide for the enforcement of new requirements of the EU regulations).
The SR that is the subject of this consultation (The Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012) is required to:
- give full effect to EU food hygiene regulations that have been made since April 20102 when the national food hygiene legislation was last amended
- make provision for an 'ambulatory reference' that will in future automatically give effect to technical changes to EU food regulations without the need to make new national regulations to give effect to the changes
- introduce a national special health mark for carcasses and packaged meat from 'emergency slaughtered' animals as required by EU law
Similar consultations are being undertaken in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Stakeholders should note that this proposed SR has already been consulted on in an earlier form between 31 March 2010 and 23 June 2010 as the Food Hygiene (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010. The ambulatory provisions and the special health mark provisions were included in that draft SR. The consultation documents and stakeholders' responses can be seen on the FSA's website3. No objections were raised by stakeholders to the introduction of the ambulatory reference.
Since the March 2010 consultation closed, some amendments have been added to the SR; the ambulatory reference provision has been amended and as more recent EU regulations have been adopted, where appropriate they have been added to the draft SR's Schedule 1 in order that the schedule gives effect to the most recent EU Regulations (these are set out at Annexe F).
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is obliged to consult interested parties on all changes to food law, both EU and national, and where there is any likelihood that the impacts of changes to laws may be significant, the FSA will make an impact assessment (IA), formally setting out its considered views on the costs and/or benefits of these changes. Impact assessments (IAs) are normally started at the early stage of the life of a proposed EU regulation and updated accordingly.
Two draft IAs are included in this consultation on which the FSA asks stakeholders to comment on its considered views on the costs and/or benefits of the following:
- changes to the documentation requirements for the import of composite products
- issues relating to the certification of the slaughter of farmed game
Regulation (EC) 1162/2009 (related to 4a) and Regulation (EU) 150/2011 (related to 4b) have both been cited in Schedule 1 of the draft Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.
Throughout the IAs, questions for stakeholders to consider and respond to or comments drawing stakeholders' attentions to particular pieces of information are underlined.
Broadly the consultation falls into four main parts, which are:
- the draft of the proposed Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012
- the existing EU food hygiene regulations that will be given effect by the proposed national regulations
- proposed EU food hygiene regulations
- two impact assessments on changes required under EU law relating to the documentation requirements for the (i) import of composite products and (ii) issues relating to the certification of the slaughter of farmed game
The FSA asks whether stakeholders have any views on the current draft of the Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, in particular noting the introduction of the ambulatory reference and the special health mark for meat from emergency slaughtered animals.
The FSA also asks for stakeholders' views on the two IAs on composite product imports and on the certification of farmed game, as well as asking stakeholders to consider if the FSA should produce IAs on other EU regulations covered or referred to by this consultation.
1 Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs; Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin and Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of 29 April 2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption. There is also Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs.
2 The Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (S.R. 2010 No. 83)
3 See link below.
Responses are required by close 24 February 2012. Please state, in your response, whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company (including details of any stakeholders your organisation represents).
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.
Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses
In accordance with the FSA principle of openness our Information Centre at Aviation House will hold a copy of the completed consultation. The FSA will publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name. Disclosure of any other personal data would be made only upon request for the full consultation responses. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.
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