United Kingdom Government Chemist 7 June, 2020: World Food Safety Day, on 7 June 2020, is an opportunity to recognize the people who help keep our food safe. Food safety is a shared responsibility between producers, businesses, governments and consumers.
Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe. Since inception in 1875, food safety has been the business of the Government Chemist. Our role, to protect the public from harm, fraud, and malpractice is as relevant today as it was then. It has been shaped to:
Protect consumers in our changing world
We protect everyone’s right to make safe choices by keeping under review developments to secure national and international regulatory compliance and by providing definitive resolution of increasingly more complex referee cases to ensure legislation protecting consumers from unacceptable levels of risk is upheld.
We regularly act as a referee in cases where undeclared allergens might be present and are involved in wide ranging activities including improving metrological traceability and food allergen quantitative risk assessment.
Support businesses and Government across the UK
We provide world class measurement science that supports an innovative and growing UK food and feed sector to trade sustainably on a global basis. This is achieved through the provision of impartial and unbiased technical advice and scientific measurement functions, not only as a route of technical appeal for the UK Government and industry but also as a valued expert resource.
We continue to advise stakeholders on potential food choking hazards and are currently investigating untargeted and portable technologies to look at their fitness for purpose for multiple food samples and a wide range of applications
Maximize the UK measurement infrastructure to address future challenges
By maintaining our position as an impartial operator in the food and feed sector and growing our links within the supporting scientific community, we will enhance and future proof existing capabilities and maximise collaborative synergies between stakeholders.
The increased use of recycled packaging materials in the food industry presents new technical challenges and possible risks. One of our current capability projects aims to research methods required to investigate the possible risks presented by recycled food packaging materials and novel alternative packaging materials and coatings.
Grow collaborative national skills initiatives
The value of the referee function and advisory role will be extended beyond first-line stakeholders through greater knowledge transfer and dissemination activities central to the function of the Government Chemist.
We publish the results of all the referee cases with associated learned lessons in Annual Reviews and other peer-reviewed publications and organise regular training events in collaboration with stakeholders.