Food Standards Scotland looks at Laboratories
At its Board meeting on the 20th November the Board of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) received an information and discussion paper on the future capacity and capability of official food and feed control laboratories. This follows the publication of summaries of a review and paper that was considered by the Food Standards Agency Board in September.
The paper noted that the model for delivering scientific services in Scotland has been reviewed a number of times over the past 20 years, most recently by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) in 2018. A Shared Services model was proposed, to bring together the four laboratories as Centres of Excellence for food, water and environmental testing under a single management structure. FSS was strongly supportive of this proposal as a means of providing a robust foundation on which to build Scotland’s analytical and food science capability for the future. However, whilst there was unanimous agreement between all interested parties regarding the benefits of a Shared Scientific Service, SOLACE was not able to achieve majority support to take this forward.
FSS has developed a strategy comprising four key areas where FSS will be able to influence and contribute to UK strategy where appropriate, whilst ensuring that future models for delivering these services are fully aligned with official control and surveillance requirements in Scotland:
i. Laboratory Infrastructure
ii. Laboratory Assurance
iii. National Co-ordination
iv. Maintaining capacity and capability
The Board was asked to note the findings of the review and provide a view on FSS’s role in developing a more co-ordinated
and sustainable laboratory system for the future.