Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“It’s important that Food Standards Scotland builds on the work of its predecessor and operates transparently as a strong, independent consumer champion. It’s vital that the new food agency tackles the challenges facing Scotland, including obesity rates, food poisoning and food fraud, putting the interests of Scottish consumers at its heart.”
In its first year Which? wants the Food Standards Scotland to prioritise:
Tackling food fraud and misleading practices – acting on the recommendations of the Scudamore and Elliott reports following horsemeat, improving intelligence gathering, stepping up surveillance and investigating and prosecuting potential breaches. Which? research in November 2014 found haddock was being substituted for cheaper whiting in Glasgow fish and chip shops last year, for example.
Healthy eating – tackling irresponsible food promotions, including those targeting unhealthy food to children, developing targets to lower levels of sugar, salt and fat in foods and improving labelling in restaurants and cafes, as well as promoting traffic light labelling on pack.
Reducing food poisoning rates – working to lower levels of campylobacter in chickens as it is the main type of food poisoning, as well as tackling other types, such as Listeria and E. coli.
Improving food law enforcement – working with local authorities to make the best use of available resources and introducing a mandatory hygiene ratings scheme. Which? research published in February found that levels of food hygiene compliance across Scotland can vary depending on where you live.
Operating openly and transparently – being clear how it prioritises and makes its decisions, involving consumers in its work and demonstrating that it understands their views and puts their interests first.