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Updated Food Standards Code of Practice: a journey to intelligence-driven inspections

Welcome to Idox Spotlight on… where we will deliver authored content, bringing you learning from industry experts, highlighting key industry changes, and reminding you why Idox is your trusted tech partner now and into the future.

Today, we’re highlighting why our recent work with the FSA means you can rest assured that when it comes to updating your IT systems, any changes to the Food Standards Code of Law have been considered and incorporated accordingly.

Updated Food Standards Code of Practice: a Journey to Intelligence-Driven inspections

Local authorities will already be familiar with the updated Food Law Codes of Practice for England and Northern Ireland, designed to support local authorities to take a more risk-based and intelligence-driven approach to food standards inspections

The new model will enable local authorities to focus more of their time and resources on food businesses that pose the greatest risk to consumers, with more frequent checks on non-compliant businesses and reducing checks on businesses with high levels of sustained compliance. 

This will require local authorities to think differently about their approach and scoring of food standards inspections and also consider the availability of resources to support the new model. One critical element is ensuring that back-end processes to record regulatory data are updated to support the new model.

Understandably, local authorities have concerns over the potential costs, resources and time involved in updating back-end processes to the new model. Due to the strength of our partnerships with local government and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Idox has been involved with these legislative changes from the very start. Andrew Clothier, Product Specialist for Idox Cloud and Matt Potts, Product Specialist for Uniform, take us through the journey so far and why customers can rest assured that Idox is ahead of the game when it comes to implementation. 

Collaborative partnership 

The FSA is seeking to be ambitious and innovative in rolling out these changes to make the process more streamlined for everyone involved. Idox is helping bring that innovation to life by collaboratively adapting our solutions and processes accordingly where required.

We have worked closely and been part of a supplier consultation process with the FSA, including regular meetings with our product experts. Our relationship with the FSA and being a core part of the process from the start means that we can dictate the pace of change with our customers, with all customers expected to align with the new legislation within an approximate time frame of one year.

From a functionality perspective, local authorities will not see too much change – users will still need to record and score an inspection and risk assessment and assign a next inspection date, but how it is scored will change. 

Andrew Clothier, Product Specialist, Idox, says that the work Idox has completed in collaboration with the FSA should provide customers with peace of mind that their back-end systems are being taken care of: “Understandably, local authorities will want to ensure that with these changes their IT systems have been updated accordingly, and we’d like to reassure customers that Uniform can already accommodate these changes within the Environmental Health module.

We’re confident that local authorities will have the tools to support them in their journey to intelligence-driven inspections.

There is also development work underway to ensure the Trading Standards module can calculate the risk based on the new model, and there is a roadmap for Idox Cloud to replicate the legislation within the solution in line with FSA requirements and according to the FSA’s phased rollout. We’re confident that local authorities will have the tools to support them in their journey to intelligence-driven inspections.”

Data manipulation requirements

Idox is also aware of requirements for some data manipulation by local authorities so that their latest food standards risk assessments can be retrospectively recalculated in line with the new legislation scoring matrix. The detail around these required data changes is still to be confirmed, but as part of a phased approach to the rollout of this new legislation, we continue to work closely with the FSA to ensure the rollout is as streamlined as possible. 

Stay tuned for more updates as they are confirmed. 

Find out more

To find out more about how Idox’s solutions will improve your food business inspections, get in touch with the team to discuss your requirements.

Published on: 8 December 2023

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