Scottish government propose ‘compliance notices’ to tackle fraudulent food packaging

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A CONSULTATION is launching into a proposed new method for dealing with fraudulent or mislabelled food packaging.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) are testing the waters for the change which would see ‘compliance notices’ introduced, helping enforcement officers address suspected breaches of food standards.

The FFS are now seeking feedback on the matter and for eight weeks are keen to hear from food businesses, caterers, retailers and consumers.

Fraudulent food packaging to be addressed with 'compliance notices' - News
The public consultation is being conducted online and will remain open for eight weeks.
Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

These notices are intended to speed up the process of dealing with fraudulent or incorrectly labelled products.

At present, local food enforcement officers presently have very limited powers.

These include submitting reports to the Procurator Fiscal and serving Seizure and Detention notices to remove products from the market.

Such processes can be time-consuming, disproportionate to the issues and can be unduly damaging to the businesses concerned, commented Raymond Pang, FSS Senior Enforcement Manager.

He said: “We feel a report should only go to the Procurator Fiscal, in cases of serious breaches, such as fraud or consistent non-compliance of food standards regulations.

“This proposed notice will highlight the regulation that might have been breached, what a business has to do to comply, and when, before any action is taken.”

He added: “As a result, they will give authorised enforcement officers the option of taking a more graduated, step-by-step approach to enforcement. This is a proposed new system of improvement, too, to work alongside businesses to ensure food standards are adhered to.”