A comprehensive and definitive database will be established for all known causes of food safety breakdowns that have occurred during the past 10 years. This will be achieved using an extensive range of national, industrial and ad-hoc information and data sets on microbiological, chemical/toxicological and physical breakdowns in food safety which have occurred in the UK.
The causes of breakdowns will then be critically appraised to identify whether (i) no existing control measures were in place that could have addressed the failure, (ii) existing control measures are inherently weak and therefore inadequate to control the issue, or (iii) appropriate and technically sound controls were in place but failure resulted from ineffective management and implementation of the control procedures. This will examine the nature and robustness of current food safety management controls.
The project will determine where and why breakdowns in food safety occur and enable a prioritisation of areas for attention, which it is hoped will make a significant impact on the reduction of foodborne illness.
This project will provide important knowledge to address weak points for safety in the food chain. This is essential if the Food Standards Agency is effectively to address persistent problem areas, set realistic policy objectives and achieve the target reduction in foodborne illness.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.