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Firms support EHOs in review

Corin Williams10/05/2012 - 13:00

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Small firms welcome EHO involvement
Small firms welcome EHO involvement

Small food manufacturers have praised council environmental health departments in a public review conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The review was launched on the Focus on Enforcement website and covers the work carried out by EHOs in regulating food producers employing fewer than 50 staff.

It does not include farming, aquaculture, meat processing or catering businesses.

One response was that ‘local authority inspectors are first class’, and another applauded trading standards and environmental health teams for being ‘incredibly helpful’ in helping them comply with legislation.

In her comments, business owner Michelle Butler said: ‘The whole better regulation or rather de-regulation thing I find quite worrying.

‘I have been employed in the catering industry for over 20 years and quite frankly find the occasional inspections that industry is … subject to an opportunity to obtain some valuable advice that small business owners like myself do no have the time or inclination to seek out for myself.’

EHO Pamela Palmer wrote that her experience of working with small food producers had been ‘extremely positive’.

She said: ‘By helping new companies and expanding companies comply with regulations the businesses have often been able to launch themselves confidently into the market place and frequently larger markets that they though possible.

‘When bug counts have rocketed we have helped find the cause, given direction on corrective measures and steered businesses away from large losses.’

Business minister Mark Prisk said the review would give food manufacturers that chance to ‘make a real difference’ to the way they are inspected and regulated.

The suggestions will be used to help ministers prioritise further reviews and develop policies.

Responding to the launch, Food and Drink Federation director general Melanie Leech said: ‘Effective regulation is vital for consumers to have confidence in our food and drink.

‘But our smaller members consistently tell us that government action to reduce the burden of regulation not only by making necessary regulation smarter but through a better enforcement and inspection regime could make a real difference to their ability to compete.’


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