February 26th, 2012
Episode 158 of 640 episodes
Who makes sure our food is safe and how? A report on Britain's food safety net. The Food Standards Agency is reviewing who makes sure our food is safe and how that work is carried out. Currently the UK's 434 local authorities employ 2800 people to police our food. With with austerity measures underway there's now less money to spend on those services and budgets for Environmental Health, Trading Standards and public analysis are coming under pressure. It's resulted in food sampling rates and the number of inspections on businesses coming down. Professor Erik Millstone, an expert on the UK's food safety system, believes this could result in an increase in risk from food borne illness. Already rates of Campylobacter, a bacterial form of food poisoning, are on the rise and so any future safety regime will have that as one of its main priorities. Sheila Dillon interviews Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, about the cuts, the FSA's review and if economic pressures could lead to an increase in risk to our health. Producer: Dan Saladino.